EU agrees to ban cruel seal trade!

On Tuesday 5th May in an historic vote for animal welfare the European Parliament voted by a huge majority (550 – 49) to ban trade in all seal products derived from commercial slaughter.

The ban will be implemented in 2010 and will help save hundreds of thousands of seals that are brutally clubbed, shot and often skinned alive each year in Canada and around the world.

“The European ban is a massive blow to the seal killers that profit from horrific cruelty to defenceless animals”, said Andy Ottaway, Campaign Director of SPAG, “However, seals are still being persecuted all over the world including in Scotland and we will continue to actively campaign to provide them with the full protection they deserve.”Shot seal copyright Orkney Seal Rescue

It is estimated that thousands of seals are killed each year by the Scottish salmon industry with scientists recently reporting a ‘frightening decline’ in common seals around the UK coast. The Scottish Government has recently suggested that this decline may be due to competition with grey seals or even predation by orcas (killer whales) however these statements lack scientific credibility. 

On 30th April the Scottish Government launched its draft Marine Bill announcing a licensing system for killing seals and salmon farms, salmon netsmen and sea fisheries will be able to apply for a license to shoot seals. The Seal Protection Action Group welcomes stronger legislation to protect Scotland’s marine environment, but we do not believe that a licensing system for killing seals is desirable, realistic or enforceable.

“European nations have voted by public demand to protect seals from cruelty yet Scotland continues to persecute these wonderful animals”, said Andy Ottaway, “Seal killing leaves an indelible stain on the international image of both Scotland and Scottish salmon products and must be stopped.”

We are calling on members of the public to avoid Scottish salmon unless their retailer can guarantee that producers do not shoot seals. Please show your support by signing our ‘Save Scotland’s Seals’ pledge.

You can also help SPAG to protect seals by:

  • Making a donation
  • Joining our ‘Seal Savers’ scheme
  • Raising money simply by searching the internet
  • Helping to raise awareness about SPAG through social networking sites and blogging
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