Canadian Parliament Dines on Seal

Lunch gesture protests EU's ban on import of seal products
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2010 10:27 AM CST
Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean had no problem eating a seal heart last year.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Miffed by a ban on Canadian seal imports by the EU, which charges cruelty in the annual hunt, the country's MPs have defiantly put seal meat on tomorrow's parliamentary lunch menu. By eating seal, a Liberal MP tells the Guardian, “all political parties will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the international community the solidarity of the Canadian parliament behind those who earn a living from the seal hunt.”

The EU ban covers the commercial hunt, which kills an estimated 275,000 seals a year, but exempts the traditional Inuit hunts. Canadian seal exports were worth $9.7 million last year, and the country is lobbying through official channels—as well as with their forks—to repeal the ban. It's not the first stunt pulled on behalf of seal exporters: Just last month, G7 leaders meeting in Iqaluit were offered seal meat by Inuit hunters, which an EU official called “quite a callous way to manipulate an indigenous community.”

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