In an internal memo issued this week, government officials in Canada urged Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz not to ban cat and dog fur imports, arguing that such a ban would weaken Canada's position against the banning of seal products by other countries.
This sentiment goes against the vast majority of Canadians who decry the annual seal hunt and the government's effort to protect the seal fur trade. A recent poll showed that 86 percent of Canadians supported the right of the EU to ban its trade in seal products, while 79 percent opposed the use of government money to defend the commercial seal hunt.*
What's more, a large number of the estimated 2 million dog and cat skins originate in China, where regulations are virtually nonexistent and animal suffering is beyond extreme. And because Canada has no labeling requirements for fur garments, it is nearly impossible for consumers to avoid the cruelty-ridden skins.
The United States and the European Union already prohibit the import of dog and cat fur. Now it's time for Canada to follow suit! Tell Prime Minister Harper and Agriculture Minister Ritz that you do not support the import of cat and dog fur - or the commercial seal slaughter.
*Environics Research, 2008
Dear Prime Minister Harper and Minister Ritz,
I was shocked to learn about an internal memo supporting the continued import of dog and cat fur. This sentiment does not speak for me, nor does it express the wishes of the majority of Canadian citizens.
Under the World Trade Organization Agreements, nations can justify trade prohibitions in certain circumstances, including where necessary to protect public morals or to protect human health or animal welfare. Given these requirements, Canada is entirely within its rights to ban trade in cat and dog fur products.
Consider the following:
- The Canadian government claims it spent between $1.8 and $3.6 million in 2009 just to attempt to enforce the few regulations that govern the seal hunt. Yet Canada's commercial seal hunt brought in less than $1.5 million that same season.
- The proposed WTO challenge in regards to the EU seal product trade ban would cost an estimated $10 million and many say stands little chance of success.
[Your comments here]
I want the Canadian seal hunt to end and the trade in cat and dog fur to stop. Please choose the ethical and moral path by banning the import of this mercilessly cruel product.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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