Canadian Seal Hunt: EU seal trade ban an important step closer

On Monday 2nd March, the European Parliamentary Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, voted in favour of a comprehensive ban on trade in all seal products. This is a vital step in our campaign to see a complete ban on the import of seal products into the European Union.
Adult Harp Seal

The Seal Protection Action Group (SPAG) is delighted with this decision. SPAG has been actively campaigning for the ban, and we lobbied key Committee members before the vote urging them to support a complete ban and to reject a proposed seal product labeling scheme instead. The labeling scheme would have allowed seal imports to continue from countries that kill seals provided they met strict guidelines intended to make the killing of seals more humane.

In January, the Canadian Government, that sanctions the world’s largest seal cull, announced changes in domestic killing regulations in an attempt to make the Canadian cull appear more humane and so allow the seal trade to continue.

The European Parliamentary Committee’s vote sets a clear mandate to the European Commission that a comprehensive ban on trade must be adopted.

“A comprehensive ban on trade in seal products within the European Union will be a massive blow to the seal killers that profit from appalling cruelty to defenseless animals” said Andy Ottaway, Campaign Director of SPAG, “However, we still have a lot of work to do to greater protect the hundreds of thousands seals still being slaughtered  worldwide”.

In addition to the massive Canadian seal cull, where over 300,000 seals are clubbed and shot each year, large scale seal hunts also take place in countries such as Namibia, Norway, Russia, Greenland and the UK.

In the UK, an estimated 5,000 seals are deliberately killed in Scottish waters alone each year, by salmon farming and angling interests. Although the UK Government is supporting an EU ban on all seal product imports, SPAG is concerned at the woefully inadequate protection afforded to the UK’s globally important populations of common and grey seals.

SPAG is working hard to protect the hundreds of thousands of seals being persecuted worldwide. For further details about our campaigns and how you can get involved, please click here.

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You can also help SPAG to protect seals by:

  • Making a donation
  • Joining our ‘Seal Savers’ scheme
  • Raising money when you search the internet
  • Helping to raise awareness about our campaign through social networking sites and blogging
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