Page last updated at 22:15 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Canada MPs to dine on seal meat

A seal hunter returns with pelts after braving the ice off the coast of Pointe-aux-Loups in the Magdalen Islands, Canada
Seals are hunted for their fur, their fat and their meat

Seal meat is to go on the menu at Canada's parliament to allow members to show their backing for the annual hunt.

A maximum of 270,000 harp seals are killed each year in March and April by gunshot or being hit on the head with a spiked club called a hakapik.

Canadian seal products are the subject of an EU ban on the grounds that the annual east coast seal hunt is cruel.

Ottawa is fighting the ban, saying the seal hunt is sustainable and provides needed income for isolated communities.

Port sauce

"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," Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the parliament's restaurant is to offer seal meat hors-d'oeuvre and a main course of seal loin wrapped in double-smoked bacon with a port sauce.

An aide to the senator said seal dishes could be on the menu once a week when in season.

The EU ban was imposed last May after years of campaigning by animal rights activists.

The ban covers seal products including clothing, meat and oil.

It excludes products from traditional hunts by indigenous peoples in Canada, Greenland Russia and Alaska.

Canada's Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said earlier on Monday that there may not be enough ice in the Gulf of St Lawrence this year to support the hunt.

Print Sponsor

EU seal ban challenged by Canada
27 Jul 09 |  Europe
EU ban looms over seal products
05 May 09 |  Europe
EU seeks to halt cruelty to seals
24 Jul 08 |  Europe
Man arrested filming seal killing
14 Oct 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Hunters 'blockade' seal activists
13 Apr 06 |  Americas
Canada seal cull gets under way
26 Mar 06 |  Americas

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific