It's Official: European Union Bans Trading of All Seal Products


Photo via ABC

Good news for fans of adorable mammalian sea critters everywhere--and of course for the seals themselves--the EU has officially banned the trading of all seal products.Prodded on by the vocal international outcry against the ongoing Canadian and Namibian seal hunts, today the EU has banned the trading of any pelt, fur, or other seal product in all of the 27 nations it represents. The vote to instate the ban took place last May, and it passed by a massive majority in EU Parliament, 550-49. As April reported after the vote took place,

The EU's prohibition will go into effect before next year's hunt, and will forbid all products containing anything derived from seals being imported, exported or transported across the 27 members of the EU.
And now, the ban is officially set to move forward. From Bloomberg:
The ban is a "significant victory" for anti-seal hunt campaigners, cutting back on supplies of fur pelts and related products derived from harvesting seals, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said today in an e-mailed statement.
And the ban goes into effect next year--in time, perhaps, for Canada to reconsider its much-maligned hunt. But not likely. The Canadian government has already set about crafting plans to contest the move, and Namibia appears unfazed as well:
[Canada] will challenge the import ban through the World Trade Organization, the IFAW said in the statement. Namibia on July 6 said it plans to kill 91,000 seals this year despite a EU ban
But despite the belligerent responses, the ban is sure to have an economic impact on the countries hosting the seal hunts, decreasing the market for seal products by a huge swath of the rich world. It also sends a pointed message to the countries still condoning the such hunts--hopefully bringing us one step closer to the day when fully grown men no longer approach curious, hapless baby seals and then bludgeon them over the head with clubs.

More on Seal Hunts
Canadian Governor General Eats the Heart of Slaughtered Seal to Show Support of Hunt
85,000 Seal Pups to be clubed to Death in Africa

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