Three in five Canadians say they supported seal hunt

Date: 1/10/2005

As the federal government prepares to set new quotas this fall for the controversial East Coast seal hunt, the Fisheries Department has armed itself with a $5,000 poll that suggests the majority of Canadians support the hunt. The Ipsos-Reid poll, completed in February, found 60% of Canadians surveyed said they supported to some degree Ottawa’s current policy on the annual hunt. With the proviso that no nursing seals are hunted, that the killing is done in a humane manner and that quotas are set to ensure that seal populations are sustained, 1,000 Canadians were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with current federal seal hunt policy.  The telephone survey found 22% of respondents strongly agreed, 38% somewhat agreed while 23% strongly disagreed and 16% somewhat disagreed. ‘We face a battle for hearts and minds sometimes with animal rights groups who have figures of their own and polls of their own,’ said a spokesman for the Fisheries Department.

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