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German ban on seal trade increases pressure on Canada to stop its cruel commercial hunt

02/04/2008 11:19:46
February 2008. Germany has taken another step towards ending cruel commercial seal hunts as the government has decided to forward the draft bill for a national trade ban on all seal products to the EU Commission. The Commission will clarify that the bill is in accordance with European legislation and with global commercial law.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which campaigns for an end to Canada’s cruel commercial seal hunt, is calling for seal trade bans to be introduced across Europe, and welcomed the decision by Germany. Bans are already in place in Belgium, the Netherlands, Croatia and Slovenia, as well as Mexico and the US. Similar legislation is expected to follow in Austria and Italy.
 
Seal carnage. © IFAW.
‘Working towards a trade ban is a clear statement that Germany wants no part of Canada’s commercial seal hunt this March,’ remarked Dr. Ralf Sonntag, Director of IFAW Germany. ‘It is very important that this law is enacted as soon as the EU reviews it. We are delighted with the government’s efforts to protect seals at the national level and we also expect the government to stand up consistently for the passage of an EU-wide trade ban.’

300,000 Seals Killed Every Year
Robbie Marsland, Director of IFAW UK, said: ‘Canada’s commercial seal hunt is the world’s largest marine mammal hunt, with around 300,000 seals a year killed in an unacceptably cruel way, so their skins can provide luxury items for the fashion industry.

‘We applaud the decision of the German government and encourage other EU countries, particularly the UK, to introduce a similar ban and show Canada we want no part in this cruel and unnecessary hunt. Public opinion in the UK and Europe is overwhelmingly against the seal hunt and it is time it was ended once and for all.’

Germany’s national ban on seal products comes just one month before Canada’s commercial seal hunt is set to begin off the east coast of Canada. Last year, more than 224,000 harp seals were killed, 98.5% of which were under 3 months of age.

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