October 28, 2010
HSI and The HSUS Laud European Court Decision Rejecting Effort to Block Seal Product Trade Ban
(Oct. 28, 2010)--Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States applaud a landmark ruling by the President of the European General Court to dismiss an application by sealing interests to suspend the European Union Regulation prohibiting seal product trade pending the outcome of a court case. The top two buyers of seal fur from the Canadian commercial seal slaughter were among the applicants in the case.
"The EU prohibition on seal product trade is now in effect for all parties," said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. "This cynical attempt by commercial sealing interests to circumvent the EU seal product trade ban while their case is heard has been blocked. This is a victory for European democracy, for the overwhelming majority of Canadians who want the commercial seal hunt ended, and for the countless baby seals that will be spared a horrible fate as a result of this ruling."
In 2010, despite the presence of enforcement officers to monitor the killing, Humane Society International documented more than 255 apparent violations of the few, inadequate rules that exist to govern the commercial seal slaughter in Canada. These included sealers failing to ensure seals were even unconscious before cutting them open, and leaving wounded seals to suffer in agony. One seal was filmed showing directed movements minutes after being shot, cut open and thrown onto a sealing vessel. This extensive evidence supports the findings of veterinary experts that Canada's commercial seal hunt is inherently inhumane, and proves that the EU ban was a necessary move to protect European values.
With international markets closing for seal products and widespread opposition to the commercial seal slaughter, it is time for the Canadian government to implement a federal buyout of the commercial sealing industry, which would involve fishermen and vessel owners being compensated for their sealing licenses, and money being invested in economic alternatives for affected communities.
Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International — one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than ten million members and constituents globally — On the Web at hsicanada.ca.