In 2009, we campaigned to bring an end to the commercial seal hunt, asking customers and staff to sign a petition addressed to Prime Minister Harper calling for the end of federal support for the hunt.
Despite an overall decline in demand for seal products, Canadian tax money is still used to subsidize the commercial sealing industry. We believe that because of the inherent cruelty of the hunt and its cost to Canadians, this industry should be reconsidered. As a company with a strong stance against animal cruelty for more than 20 years, we cannot stand by the mass killing of these animals for commercial gain.
We recently received feedback from customers, our community partners and the general public about this campaign and our opposition to seal hunting. Our 2009 campaign did not oppose the hunting of seals by indigenous people for food, clothing or economic benefit. However, we have since learned that opposition to the seal hunt in any form is harmful to indigenous communities in northern Canada. We regret that standing up against animal cruelty negatively impacts these communities.
We’ve worked very hard to build respectful relationships with indigenous people both in Canada and around the world, collaborating on issues like the tar sands, pipeline expansions and the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia. As a business that deeply cares about people, animals and the planet, we will continue to work alongside indigenous communities, taking their perspectives into account when speaking up about issues that we are passionate about.
We value having a customer base that is passionate, engaged and willing to keep us accountable. Thank you for speaking out. As a company that does the same, we hear you and will continue to keep the dialogue about this important issue open.