EU Seal Import Ban

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Below will be a series of news posts related to the EU seal product import ban that reflect the unfairness and height of hypocrisy shown by the EU Parliament based on false, inflammatory ad campaigns  and misleading information promoted by animal rights organizations on how the seal harvest is conducted in Canada.

February 10, 2015
A note from a Swedish Facebook friend, Magnus Petersson, about how seals are causing headaches for Scandinavian fishermen in parts. He shared a video of ravaged cod carcasuses by seals shown caught on the deck of a small boat. See the clip on our Video page. Magnus shares some thoughts on the seal problem for fishermen there:

It was shot outside the Danish-owned island community Bornholm which is off the coast of Blekinge, Sweden where I live. There is small scale fishermen who has to quit because of the enormous seal problem, especially with harbor seals moving into the Baltic sea, a species that has been very rare and uncommon here in the past

Seal hunting is allowed, but there are some major problems with it:
1. On the Baltic side of Sweden, you are only allowed to hunt grey seals. As this is a new problem we are not any experienced seal hunters, so its hard to see the difference at long range between grey seals, and the harbor seals and ringed seals that you are not allowed to shoot

2. Too many samples that you have to send to the authorities for research. They want things like entrails, stomach content etc all sent to them for scientific research. This however is about to change, to only a minor mandatory demand that you send a part of the jaw and a few other tissue samples away for research.

3. The EU. The EU does not ban seal hunting, but they ban any commercial trade and sale of seal products. Seal hunting is hard and takes lots of time, especially for fishermen who are inexperienced seal hunters. If you could sell the pelts, there would be more motivation for more people to hunt, but the EU doesn’t want that. This also bothers me greatly cause in Swedish and Scandinavian hunting ethics you just don’t shoot animals and let them rot, you either keep the parts or sell it.
Magnus Petersson

Related Facebook group is here


EU-FlagUPDATE: EU Commission and Parliament import ban decisions due today

FIC – Ottawa – April 25, 2013 –      The European General Court decision on the challenge led by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Others, to annul the Implementing Regulation of the EU Seal Ban of 2009 will be handed down today, Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Luxembourg. Attached is an overview of the legal challenge and timeline, from September 2009 to today and fact sheets on sealing.

For questions on the legal court case itself, we kindly ask that you defer these questions to the two lead plaintiff organizations – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami for Inuit related questions and the Fur Institute of Canada (FIC) for a non-Inuit perspective. Read full FIC news release and facts sheets  here


UPDATE: WTO Hearings – CSA represented in Geneva

February 28, 2013  –  The CSA was represented by it’s president, Eldred Woodford, at the WTO hearings in Geneva Switzerland last week into the European ban on marketing and the importation of seal products. The arguments brought forward were from Canada and Norway vs The European Union (EU). Both oral and written presentations were given last week on behalf of the Canadian and Norwegian delegation. Read full update here (thanks to Fur Institute of Canada) Full report here:


Will the EU play fair?

February 20, 2013    –   Carrie Tate reports for the Globe and Mail that the legitimacy of the European ban on seal imports may be showing cracks in the midst of EU trade with Canada negotiations.

The battle over Canada’s controversial seal hunt has reignited as a powerful panel in Geneva began hearing arguments over whether the European Union’s ban on seal products is legitimate.

Canada and Norway, two seal-hunting allies, in 2010 turned to the World Trade Organization to contest the EU’s seal ban. Oral arguments started Monday and the hearing has once again put Canada’s seal-hunting industry in the international spotlight. Story: Globe and Mail story is here


30 November 2012: Radio Canada International
Eye on the Arctic – Inuit appeal EU Seal Ban

Earlier this month, several organizations, including Canada’s national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, went to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to appeal the EU seal ban. The European Parliament passed a bill to ban the importation of seal products in 2009 after a campaign by animal welfare activists against the commercial seal hunt.  The ban carries an exemption for products produced from Inuit subsistence huts. Full RCI article is here


Nunavut, November 22, 2012, NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Aariak appeals for dialogue, “a fairer approach to trade” and respect in sealing debate
“We in Nunavut reject seal bans… as an attack on our way of life”

“Throughout the centuries, seals have fed us, clothed us and provided the oils that we burned to cook and heat our shelters,” says Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak in a Nov. 20 letter sent to the president of the European Parliament.

Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak has released the text of a letter she wrote Nov. 20 to Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, defending the Nunavut seal hunt as “sustainable and humane.” Story is here