European Union Bans Import of Seal Products

Among the many bloody and brutal forms of animal exploitation, the killing of seals has long been deplored by decent people in many countries. Heartbreaking scenes of baby seals being clubbed to death before their mothers’ eyes has caused considerable protest and repeated calls to outlaw the practice.

Recently, the European Union took a step in the right direction when it banned the importation and marketing of all seal products from its 28 member nations.

A sour note was struck last year when Canada and Norway appealed the EU’s ban to the World Trade Organization, claiming it was discriminatory and contrary to international trade regulations.  Fortunately, in May, 2014, the WTO ruled in favor of the ban, citing moral grounds of animal welfare and the barbaric way the seals are killed.

Although the WTO ruling is final, there is a nasty loophole that exempts seal products from Inuit or other indigenous communities.  And Canada is free to retaliate against the EU nations for failing to meet trade obligations.

Other countries that ban imported seal products include the U.S., Mexico, Russia, and Taiwan.

A federal government spokesperson said, “The ban on seal products adopted in the European Union was a political decision that has no basis in fact or science.”

But animal welfare groups hope this decision will eventually benefit other species.

Nearly a million seals are hunted globally each year.  Commercial hunting operations take place in Canada, Norway, Greenland, and Namibia.

EMF

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