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The Fur Institute of Canada remains to be an important information source in respect to what’s happening to the fur trade today. They are the watchdogs on Canadian fur trade. They monitor what is happening domestically here in Canada and Internationally.

The big issue for 2010/2011 fiscal year is the European Seal Ban. Inuit groups along with non-native sealing groups have launched a court case against the European Government for their legislation which bans all seal skin pelts and seal skin bi-products from entering Europe. European Union consists of 27 European countries. The ban applies to all the 27 European countries. The European ban in 1982 applied to white-coat pelts only. The white coats are normally seal pups from the day; they are born to seven days. But the current ban applies to all seals and any bi-products of seals which include seal oil used as a vitamin called omega-3. The legal challenge at the general court of the European Union; seeking to overturn E.U. regulation 1007/2009, which bans the placing on the market of seal products in the E.U. and sets a precedent of “immorality” concerning the commercial use of wildlife products. The challenge consists of two separate applications from a collection of twenty Canadian and Internationally-based plaintiffs versus the European Parliament and Council, and the European Commission, respectively. F.I.C. jointly coordinates the cases along with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (Coordinating Canadian and Greenlandic Inuit Interests). The follow through of these initiatives has evoked measures reaction by the European Union, prompting temporary suspension of the ban’s implementation in August 2010. Presently, members of the plaintiff group are awaiting a hearing on admissibility for the first application. The F.I.C. and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (I.T.K.) have undertaken funding efforts to fund the case which saw funds received by Inuit Organizations, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments, Trade Associations, European Hunting Federations and Fur Trade Interests.

F.I.C. has a Board composed of representatives from all membership categories to a maximum of 24. It also has an Executive Committee composed of the chairman (Bruce Williams), three vice-chairs, a treasurer and a secretary. F.I.C. is organized with five sub-committees:

  • 1.) Trap Research and Development Committee
  • 2.) International Relations and Conservation Committee
  • 3.) Communications Committee
  • 4.) Aboriginal Communications Committee
  • 5.) Sealing Committee

All the Committees have specific mandates, responsibilities and terms of reference. Each sub-committee has a chairman. Each committee is charged with a responsibility to seek funding for their projects.