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Letter: Canada’s seal industry is more than fur

['Wayde George handles pelts at the seal tannery in Dildo. It’s a labour-intensive process that takes more than three weeks to fully cure and tan a sealskin.  —Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram']
Seal pelts being tanned. — file photo

Re: “Letter: Time to think fur free in Newfoundland.”

Sunny San Francisco banning fur is unfortunate. It’s a decision based on emotion over logic. But Canadians, especially Newfoundlanders, don’t have the luxury of banning warmth, fisheries and jobs.

I am a proud member of Canada’s seal industry, and I ask for your objectivity before passing judgment.

I don’t blame you for thinking the way you do. It’s fashionable to support emotion over logic. There is a premium placed on feelings over facts. But humour me while I give you some information about Canada’s seal industry.

There are 7.8 million harp seals that eat 8-10kg of seafood daily. That’s 62,400,000kg of seafood a day or 22,776,000,000kg of seafood a year on the low end.

There are no fisheries that come close to these numbers.

If there is no seal industry there will be a senseless cull.

Seals are a natural and sustainable Canadian resource. They are full-use animals that yield fashion, food and health products. We source, clean, process and package these products in Canada. We are respectful stewards with a footprint in every province and territory.

Canada’s seal industry employs people from coast-to-coast-to-coast. We are fisherman, craftspeople, administrators, retailers, tanners, scientists, plant workers, printers, executives, manufacturers, truck drivers, line workers, chefs, and more. We are more than fur.

It’s fine to think about going fur free, but fur is only one part of Canada’s seal industry. I ask that you think about the food and health products. Consider the jobs across Canada. Reflect on the growing seal population and the food it must eat.

There is more to the story than just going fur free.

Joshua Chartrand

COO DPA Industries Inc.


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