Posts Tagged 'Nunavut'

Real teeth

ALDF releases annual report on best places to be an animal abuser in Canada.

Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec are the best provinces and territories in Canada to be an animal abuser, according to a new report released today by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, the report recognizes the provinces and territories where laws protecting animals have real teeth, and calls out those like the Northwest Territories and Nunavut—tied again for worst in Canada this year for animal protection laws—where animal abusers get off easy.

No ban

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species won’t ban international trade in polar bear parts.

The Americans argued that the sale of polar bear skins is compounding the loss of the animals’ sea ice habitat due to climate change. There are projections that polar bear numbers, estimated at 20,000 to 25,000, could decline by two-thirds by 2050 due to habitat loss in the Arctic.

Among the CITES member countries that voted on Thursday, 48 were in favour of the U.S. motion, 62 voted against and 11 abstained. The decision pleased Canadian officials at the meeting, especially those from Nunavut, where most of Canada’s polar bears are located.

“It was quite unbelievable, but at the same time, we were very happy. It seems like all the pressure was taken off,” Gabriel Nirlungayuk, director of wildlife with the Inuit land-claim organization Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., told CBC News from Doha on Thursday.

Less bears

Nunavut to reduce Baffin Bay polar bear quota in effort to preserve hunt.

Environment Minister Daniel Shewchuk announced Friday that starting this year, the hunting quota, also known as the total allowable harvest, for polar bears in Baffin Bay will be cut by 10 bears annually for four years.

That means the current quota of 105 Baffin Bay polar bears will be reduced to 65 by 2013.

Inuit card

Federal government accused of using Inuit for political gain, which would be totally unprecedented.

Sheryl Fink, the director of the Canadian seal campaign for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, notes that as far back as 2001, a Foreign Affairs e-mail talked about playing “the Nunavut Inuit card as leverage” in trade negotiations.

“We know they’re trying to play up this Inuit thing and portray all commercial hunting in Canada as Inuit hunting,” she said, describing the non-aboriginal hunt as much larger and more wasteful. “It is frustrating for us when we see lines getting blurred between the two because it is a deliberate tactic on the part of the government.”

Primitive measures

There are no vets in Nunavut.

Despite the fact that Nunavut has a staggering concentration of dogs—a 2007 survey found that in Iqaluit, there were nearly half as many canines as the city’s 7,000 people—there is not a single veterinarian. The lack of access to sterilization has led to overpopulation, and euthanasia (by gun) is seen as a necessary evil to control numbers and disease. Common illnesses, easily preventable with vaccination, often run rampant. In Iqaluit, a recent outbreak of canine parvovirus, which leads to vomiting, diarrhea and possibly death, prompted council to pass an emergency measure: unclaimed strays could be destroyed by bylaw officers after 12 hours, rather than the standard 72. Says Janine Budgell, who runs the territory’s only humane society, in Iqaluit, “People don’t know how under-resourced we are, and how primitive the measures [that are used].”


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