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October 17, 2011

HSI Canada Commends European Parliament’s Stance Against the Seal Hunt During Canada-EU Free Trade Talks

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Artists joined HSI outside the trade talks to create a drawing, urging negotiators not to "Seal the Deal". Dean Pogas/HSI

OTTAWA — As the ninth round of the Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations begins in Ottawa, more than 100 Members of the European Parliament have signed an open letter to the Canadian government stating that the European Parliament should not support CETA until Canada withdraws its WTO challenge against the EU seal product trade ban.

Highlighting this development, two artists joined Humane Society International/Canada outside of the trade talks on Monday to create a rendering on an 8’ X 30’ canvas, urging negotiators not to “Seal the Deal.”

“As long as the Canadian government continues its ill-advised challenge of the EU seal product trade ban at the World Trade Organization, many Members of the European Parliament will think twice about supporting a free trade agreement with Canada,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. ”Our government’s nonsensical promotion of commercial sealing is in direct opposition to the will of Canadians, and now may threaten a multi-billion dollar deal with one of our most important trading partners.”

Members of the European Parliament assert that the Canadian government challenge against the EU ban on trade in seal products is an attack on both European and Canadian values, and European democratic processes. Polling reveals that 86 percent of Canadians supported the right of the EU to ban seal product trade.

In February 2011, the Canadian government launched a formal dispute at the World Trade Organization in response to the European Union ban on seal product trade. In June 2011, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on EU-Canada trade relations, which threatened to block the ratification of CETA if the Canadian government does not withdraw its challenge.

Canadian legal experts have estimated the cost of the WTO challenge to be about $10 million—more than 10 times the landed value of the seal slaughter this year.

Click here to view the open letter signed by more than 100 members of the European Parliament agreeing not to support CETA until Canada withdraws its WTO challenge against the EU Regulation on trade in seal products.

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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 11 million members and constituents globally. On the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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