Protecting seals

Published: Sunday 31 March 2002

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that the government has the right to ban the commercial killing of newborn harp and hooded seal pups, called bluebacks, during Canada's yearly hunt.

Earlier the government's authority to prohibit the sale of blueback skin under the Fisheries Act's Marine Mammal Regulations was challenged by Ford Ward, a Newfoundland sealer. The Canadian government argued that the killing of young seals led to 'widespread public abhorrence'. Lawyers for Ford Ward said that the regulation of trade is a matter of provincial jurisdiction and the matter was eventually taken to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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