May 5, 2009
European Union Makes History by Banning Trade in Seal Products
STRASBOURG, France - Humane Society International congratulated the European Parliament for voting overwhelmingly in favour of a strong ban on trade in seal products.
“Today’s vote in the European Parliament marks a historic victory in the campaign to stop the commercial slaughter of seals around the world,” said Mark Glover, director of Humane Society International/UK. “The European Union has acted on behalf of its citizens, and its decision will save millions of seals from a horrible fate.”
The Parliament voted for a strong Regulation that will eliminate the placing of seal products on the EU market, closing a primary market for Canada’s commercial seal hunt. The Council and Commission have already agreed to the text, making Tuesday’s plenary vote the final step in achieving the regulation. In light of the overwhelming vote in favour of the agreed upon regulation by the Parliament, the regulation will go into effect in 2010.
The EU has been a primary market for the Canadian sealing industry, accounting for about one-third of reported seal skin exports. Globally, the EU accounts for one quarter of the world trade in seal products.
In recent years, 11 countries have banned their trade in seal products or announced their intentions to do so. They join the United States, which prohibited seal product trade in 1972.
Facts about the seal slaughter:
Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide— On the web at hsi.org.