European Union Bans Trade in Seal Products / Respect for Animals Welcomes Historic Legislation
Speaking about the ban Paul said: "Its really great news that will hopefully put an end to this trade in cruelty. The many people who have campaigned for a ban on this activity will be relieved and happy with this victory for the welfare of these beautiful creatures.
Understanding that some of the local people may not be happy with this development, I would love to think that there would be a switch in thinking and that they could offer tourists guided trips to this beautiful region and its unique animal life."
Yesterday (5th May) the European Parliament voted by a large majority to ban the placing on the market of seal products throughout the 27 countries of the EU.
This legislation closes the market for products from commercial seal hunts all over the world, including Canadas the largest most brutal slaughter of marine mammals. It also closes the loophole created by the 1983 European legislation which only banned the sale of fur from newborn whitecoat harp seals and blueback hooded seals. The sealers now wait just a few days until the seals moult their white fur making them fair game and their fur saleable in Europe. Opinion polls in the UK have consistently shown large majorities of the public support a ban on seal imports and an Early Day Motion in the UK Parliament calling for an EU ban has been signed by 147 MPs from all parties.
UK MEPs played key roles in ensuring this legislation passed and remains robust. Arlene McCarthy MEP North West who chaired the Internal Market & Consumer Protection Committee had to redraft the key elements of the Commissions original proposal which won the support of the majority of MEPs.
The legislation has passed in the face of a massive lobby from the Canadian Government and those with vested interests in sealing.
Mark Glover, Campaign Director of Respect for Animal said: I was present for the vote in 1983 and being there today draws a line under this campaign as well as EU involvement in this crime against nature. EU citizens will no longer have the blood of those beautiful, innocent creatures on their hands. EU imports helped fuel the cruelty and we hope todays ban sends a clear and loud message to Canada that the brutal act of clubbing and shooting baby seals will no longer be tolerated.
Mark Glover also went on to thank the Daily Mirror newspaper who had started campaigning for this some 41 years ago: This is the best moment of my life, and the Daily Mirror deserves a great deal of credit for being involved from the beginning.
The Parliament voted 550 to 49 for the regulation which will go into effect in 2010.