China has recently been making some great strides in improving the lives of animals, which has caught many of us by surprise (but in a good way!).
Just last week, China was one of thirty nations that signed an agreement to make the sale of ivory a serious crime enforceable under international law. Now this week, there’s talk that China will be joining the protest against the Canadian seal slaughter. How great would that be?!
As many animal lovers know, the Canadian seal hunt is long overdue its expiration date. HarpSeals.org provides an extensive background of the hunt, some of which we have transcribed here for a quick catch-up on the issue:
Harp seal pups are famous for their big black eyes and fluffy white fur … But these beautiful and gentle creatures have the unfortunate status of annually suffering the largest slaughter of any marine mammal species on the planet … Every spring, great numbers of pregnant harp seals gather together on the stark ice floes off the Canadian Atlantic coastline … to give birth to their babies. About 95 percent of the seals killed in the commercial seal ‘hunt’ are 3 weeks to 3 months old.
While the Canadian government has banned the hunting of “whitecoat” harp seal pups, footage has revealed that some are still killed for their fur, along with thousands of other harp seals. The vast majority of pelts are then exported to other countries, according to Humane Society International (HSI).
As attempts to make the seal hunt illegal in Canada have not yet been passed, animal protection groups have focused their efforts on getting countries to boycott Canadian seafood and ban the import of seal fur. So far, countries that ban the trade of seal products in some way include, the European Union, United States, Mexico, Croatia, the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and, Taiwan, via HSI.
China might soon be joining this list of countries who oppose the seal hunt.
Global News reports that Canada has been seeking out China as a potential buyer of seal products since so many countries are opposing the trade. However, they report that, “the Chinese government may be mulling a ban. Protests in China demanding their government sever ties with Canada’s sealing industry suggest a growing opposition to the imports … Earlier this month, Chinese activists protested the Canadian fisheries delegation with a rally at the China International Fisheries and Seafood Expo in Dailian.”
China still has a long way to go with their animal welfare policies, but we hope that they hear the voices of their citizens and ban the import of cruel seal products.
Image Source: Jomilo75/Flickr