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Just 9% are in favour of “hunting animals for sport”—the issue of zoos and aquariums is the most divisive.

Vancouver, BC – Most Canadians are opposed to the seal harvest that takes place in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the Arctic each year, a new Canada-wide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 24% of Canadians are in favour of the seal harvest, while a majority (53%) voice opposition to it.

Women (56%), Canadians over the age of 55 (59%) and Ontarians (61%) are more likely to oppose the seal harvest, while Atlantic Canadians (44%) and Albertans (38%) are the most supportive.


The survey also looked at other issues related to animals that were first included in a September Insights West poll conducted in British Columbia and Alberta.

While there is a large level of support from Canadians to eating animals (84%) and hunting animals for meat (74%), there are some significant regional differences on some of the other issues.

While only three-in-ten Canadians (31%) are in favour of using animals in rodeos, the proportion rises to 57% in Alberta and falls to 25% in Ontario.

Killing animals for their fur is supported by only 17% of Canadians, but the proportion jumps to 32% in Atlantic Canada and 31% in Alberta.

The most contentious issue is keeping animals in zoos or aquariums, which is favoured by 46% of Canadians and opposed by 50%. Support for this practice is highest in Alberta (64%) and lowest in Quebec (37%).

Only 9% of Canadians are in favour of hunting animals for sport (trophy hunting), with a high of 13% in Quebec and a low of 5% in British Columbia.

“The survey shows that, while some issues—such as trophy hunting—are universally condemned, each province appears to be approaching animal issues differently due to culture,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Albertans, for instance, are definitely more fond of rodeos, while Quebec—birthplace of Cirque du Soleil—is less supportive of keeping animals in zoos and aquariums.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 21 to November 25, 2015, among a representative sample of 1,035 Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Torrey Wiley