Caroline Lucas, welcomes EU vote to ban trade of seal products

5 May 2009

Caroline Lucas MEP, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament intergroup on animal protection and co-sponsor of the original Written Declaration against the trade in seal products in 2006, said the vote is,

"A victory for the global campaign against animal cruelty, and a victory for European democracy".

MEPs voted 550 in favour with just 49 against. Dr Lucas who was one of the co-sponsors of the original Declaration which, almost 3 years ago, called for a ban on the import of seal products, said it's about time,

"Nearly one million seals are slaughtered annually in commercial seal hunts around the world, and the products of those slaughters - primarily fur - are legally traded in the EU. By closing the door on fur and other seal products, Parliament has taken meaningful action to reduce the scale of cruel commercial seal killing.

The proposed ban still requires the agreement of EU ministers to take effect. But it is likely to be imposed before the 2010 hunting season starts. Dr Lucas said she's optimistic it will save hundreds of thousands of seals from being clubbed and shot under cruel conditions in Canada and elsewhere.

"I remember many meetings with Commission officials at which we were told a ban on the trade of seal products would be impossible. This vote goes to show that, with political will, the support of NGOs and the overwhelming balance of public opinion, seemingly impossible things become possible."

 


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