Should We Continue the Fur Trade in Canada?

Class: Intro. To International Business (BBB4M1)
Date: November 9, 2007
The Assignment: Pick a side from a list of debate topics related to international business. Do a group presentation and individually write essays about the topic. The more flashy, the more marks.

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I believe that the fur trade should not continue in Canada. The main reason that the fur trade should be discontinued is because the methods used to kill the animals are inhumane and cruel. The main argument for the fur trade is that it contributes to the economy and that this business is how people support themselves and their families, but this argument has some flaws.

As demonstrated in the video about the seal hunt, many of the methods used by hunters and trappers are cruel and completely unnecessary. In the article entitled “Clubbing or Shooting” it says that “The commission found that the clubbing of seals, when properly performed is at least as humane as… the killing methods used in commercial slaughterhouses”. While this does make it seem that the techniques are acceptable (or alternately, that the methods used in slaughterhouses are incredibly inhumane), the article does say, “when properly performed”. There is no guarantee that hunters are always performing their job properly. In the same article, “The Commission also found that no methods of killing which have come to their notice, other than clubbing or shooting, achieve acceptable standards of humaneness”. This shows that while clubbing and shooting may be somewhat humane, all other practices are inhumane and intolerable.

Another reason that the fur trade and seal hunt should stop is because it is affecting the world’s view of Canada. Canada is often seen as a very nice place to live because of its consistently high ranking on the Human Development Index, but lately, some people in other countries have changed their views on this country. Websites with names such as “Boycott Canada” have been appearing in recent years. Some people will refuse to buy products that come from Canada and or refuse to travel to this country. This is harmful to both the retail industry as well as the tourism industry.

The article “The Canadian Seal Hunt” states, “The commercial seal hunt in Atlantic Canada in 2004 was the source of more than $16.5 million in direct revenue from the sale of the product”. While this may seem like a lot of money, the Global Action Network’s website states, “According to the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the seal hunt accounts for a mere 0.06% of the Gross Domestic Product of that province”. Therefore, the seal hunt is not as major an industry as some people may believe. If the seal hunt were to stop, it would not affect very many citizens, as the Global Action Network’s website also states, “the seal hunt provides the equivalent of about 100 full time jobs for Atlantic Canadians”.

While some people may like fur coats and other products made from animal fur, it is not truly a necessity to our survival as it once was long ago. People need to recognize that they do not truly need real fur, they only want real fur. The continuous slaughter of helpless animals in Atlantic Canada is unnecessarily cruel and unnecessary to our economy, and should be stopped immediately.