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Code of Practice for the Harvest, Transport, Processing, and Export of Seal Products Intended for Human Consumption


This Code Of Practice is intended to identify and establish procedures and requirements, which, when implemented, will ensure that seal meat and products intended for human food have been subjected to regulatory oversight which will ensure their compliance with Canadian regulatory requirements. This Code of Practice in intended to establish controls pertaining to the entire chain of events from harvest to final packaging of this product for domestic consumption or export.


This Code of Practice is predicated upon the recognized principles of the Hazard Analysis, Critical Control Point system of ensuring food safety. It recognizes and is designed to ensure consistency with international standards. The Canadian seal processing industry will be responsible to develop and implement the required monitoring and processing controls identified in this Code.

This Code of Practice consists of Six Appendices. Each Appendix has been developed to identify the controls which must be exercised at that step in the harvest/production continuum. Regulatory oversight will be exercised to ensure that all controls are in place. Failure to implement satisfactory controls will result in follow-up actions. Only products which have been handled and processed in accordance with acceptable controls will be permitted to be offered for human consumption.

1) Appendix I: Harvest Activities
Controls for slaughter, evisceration, pelting, washing, cooling, handling of seal meat, and pelt.

2) Appendix II: Assessing Suitability of Seals
Identification of healthy seals suitable for human consumption.

3) Appendix III: Vessel Requirements
Controls for Construction, Sanitation, Storage, Ice, Protection From Contamination/Cross Contamination, and Record Keeping requirements for the harvest/transport vessel.

4) Appendix IV: UHHT Requirements
Controls for Unloading, Holding, Handling, and Transportation, (UHHT) following harvest.

5) Appendix V: QMP Reference Standard
Processing Controls required by the Quality Management Plan of registered processors.

6) Appendix VI: Export Certification Control Program (ECCP) Plan
Controls identifying requirements related to certification of final product.

7) Appendix VII: Seal Product Standard
Final product requirements, including microbiological, and chemical standards.

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