March 8, 2010 / 4:43 PM / 9 years ago

Seal meat to be on menu at Canadian Parliament

Canadian Minister of Defence Peter MacKay gives a piece of seal meat to the Chief of Defence Staff General W.J. Natynczyk (L) during a community event in Iqaluit, Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic August 22, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Andy Clark

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s parliamentary restaurant will be serving seal meat on Wednesday in a gesture of defiance aimed at a European Union ban on imports of seal products.

Canada’s Conservative government says it will fight the EU ban, which was imposed last July on the grounds that the annual seal hunt off the east coast was cruel and inhumane.

A dish of double-smoked bacon-wrapped seal loin in a port reduction will be on the menu on Wednesday, the office of Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette said on Monday.

“All political parties will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the international community the solidarity of the Canadian Parliament behind those who earn a living from the seal hunt,” she said in a statement.

Ottawa says the hunt — which takes place in March and April — provides valuable income for Atlantic fishing communities. The seals are either shot or hit over the head with a spiked club called a hakapik.

An aide to Hervieux-Payette said that, depending on supplies, seal meat could be available once a week when in season. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

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