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April 25, 2013

Court Dismisses Sealing Industry Attempt to Overturn EU Ban on Cruel Seal Products

Humane Society International applauds ruling

Humane Society International/Canada

  • The European General Court's ruling only ratifies the EU's brave stance against the shameful and dying Canadian sealing industry. Katie Carrus/The HSUS

MONTREAL — The European General Court has wisely decided to uphold the European Union’s ban on commercial trade in seal products. The court rejected a spurious attempt by the sealing and fur trade industries and some Inuit representatives to undermine the ban, which plays a key role in curbing the cruel global trade.

“We are thrilled that the European General Court has rejected this shameful attempt by the commercial sealing industry to overturn the EU ban on seal product trade,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. “Hundreds of thousands of baby seals have survived the seal hunt in recent years because Europeans have said no to the products of this cruel slaughter. Eighty-six percent of Canadians support the EU’s right to ban seal products, and the sealing industry’s constant efforts to force their products onto an unwilling international market is a true embarrassment to Canada.”

The court rejected the applicants’ attempt to annul the Commission Regulation, which puts forth detailed rules for the implementation of the EU ban on commercial trade in seal products.

In September 2011, the European General Court also dismissed an action by commercial sealing interests to annul the ban, on the grounds of inadmissibility of the applicants. Another application to have the EU seal product trade ban overturned was also rejected in April 2010. 

A further legal challenge to the ban brought by the Canadian and Norwegian governments is under consideration by the World Trade Organisation. A second hearing will take place next week in Geneva on 29th and 30th April. Having recently returned from documenting the 2013 commercial seal slaughter, HSI representatives will attend the second WTO hearing and will be available for comment.

Footage and stills from the seal slaughter are available upon request.

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Media Contact: Dean Pogas, 514.395.2914, dpogas@hsi.org

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 eleven million members and constituents globally—on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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