Victory for seals as EU ban comes into force

A temporary suspension of a European Union (EU) Regulation banning trade in seal products has been lifted by the European Union’s General Court so allowing the full implementation of this historic legislation.A sealer clubs a baby seal

The ban, agreed in 2009 and due to come into force in August 2010, was suspended following a challenge by the sealing industry. Now implemented, the Seal Protection Action Group (SPAG) believes it will help save hundreds of thousands of seals from being brutally clubbed, shot and often skinned alive each year in Canada and other horrifically cruel seal hunts around the world.

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

The EU ban prohibits the trade in products from all commercial seal hunts, including those in Canada, Namibia and Norway, but does not affect subsistence hunting by Inuit and other indigenous peoples. Had the legal challenge succeeded the European Union would continue to provide a shop window for seal products from cruel commercial seal hunts around the world where seals are clubbed or shot, primarily for their fur for the fashion industry.

The EU will also have to fend off a further challenge to the ban at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with Canada seemingly determined to overturn it and so continue the cruel annual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of seal pups on the ice floes of Newfoundland each year.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the Canadian seal hunt and other mass killings of seals around the world where seals are wrongly blamed for the collapse in fish-stocks caused by human over-fishing. Now at last the European Union has finally washed its hands of seal blood and is no longer helping support  this vile industry “said SPAG Director Andy Ottaway

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