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Canada tries to overthrow European seal product ban

13/06/2011 22:24:43 MEPs show support for EU seal ban ahead of ratification of Canada-EU trade deal

June 2011. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) today applauded a vote by European Parliamentarians which reaffirmed their support for the EU ban on seal products in a vote on amendment 10 at the parliament in Strasbourg.

IFAW urges the Canadian government to take heed of the clear intent of the amendment below:

"We take note of the recent legal developments regarding the EU's ban on seal products, in particular Canada's request to the WTO for the establishment of a formal dispute resolution panel; and expresses its strong hope that Canada will withdraw the WTO challenge, which is counter to positive trade relations, prior to the need for ratification of the CETA agreement by the European Parliament."

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: "Canada must respect the right of Europeans to say 'no' to a bloody, cruel and unnecessary industry. This WTO challenge on behalf of a dying industry will cost millions and could threaten a trade deal worth billions to Canadian and European citizens."

The vote comes on the same day that IFAW released new video footage from Canada's 2011 commercial seal hunt showing clear examples of deliberate cruelty, inhumane killing practices and violations of the Marine Mammal Regulations, despite the relatively small size of the hunt this year.

2011 hunt much smaller
Fewer than 50 boats participated in the 2011 seal hunt, and only 38,000 seals have been reported killed with a landed value of under CAN $750,000 (GB £467,000). In spite of a smaller-scale hunt, the video evidence confirms that the Canadian government and the sealing industry continue to ignore concerns about inhumane killing raised by the European Union, and that the few existing regulations are impossible for authorities to enforce.

"Many sealers appear quite comfortable ignoring the regulations and conducting cruel and inhumane killing, even when they are aware of being observed," said Sheryl Fink, Director of IFAW's Seal Programme and witness to the 2011 commercial seal hunt off the coast of Newfoundland.

The video evidence reinforces IFAW's position that trade bans on seal products are not only justified, but absolutely necessary. Such examples of cruelty are the primary reason for the European Union ban on the sale of seal products from commercial hunts and why consumers around the world are increasingly rejecting seal products.

IFAW will be providing the video footage to political leaders in Canada, the EU and around the world as evidence that commercial sealing remains an inhumane, unnecessary and outdated practice that should be stopped.


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