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The EU Takes a Stand for Seals

Written by PETA | May 5, 2009


animals.nationalgeographic / CC

Seals around the world are throwing up their flippers in celebration—the European Parliament voted today to end the sale of seal products across the European Union (EU)!

This vote adds to the pressure on Canada to end the seal slaughter. It shows that the EU Parliament recognizes the inhumanity of the annual massacre. The ban will undoubtedly deal a strong blow to sealers’ profits—and that, in turn, will result in less blood on the ice.

The EU’s decision is in line with the wishes of the majority of European citizens and all good people across the globe, including, of course, all Canadian citizens who are ashamed that their country is party to the bloody seal slaughter. Eyes now turn to the Canadian government: It has threatened to challenge the EU ban on trade in seal products at the World Trade Organization. Instead, it should be using its own laws to ban the seal slaughter.

Written by Shawna Flavell

Commenting is closed.
  • Vanessa Lamers says:

    For anyone who wants to really get knowledgeable about the history of the harp seal trade and slaughter read Peter Dauvergne’s ‘Shadows of Consumption’. The last portion of the book Part 5 is dedicated solely to the Harp seal’s history. It really broadens the issue from what we are just reading now in the media. This issue has been going back for hundreds of years and this is NOT the first time that policies have been passed.

  • NT says:

    As a Canadian I would have preferred for our government to listen to the majority of Canadians and stop the seal hunt years ago but if this is what it takes to end the annual massacre of seals so be it! I call it a victory!

  • Curtis says:

    Good! I am glad that AMERICA BANNED SEAL PRODUCTS IN THE ’70s!!

  • hunter scott says:

    hunter scott approves

  • Tracy Pratt says:

    Hey Yank we wouldn’t need to pass around the hat if the things that called themselves humans didn’t MURDER the seals in the fashion they do. Yank join the ranks of the other wankers out there that think like you ……… you started it all you barbarians!

  • Kelley says:

    To everyone who is whining about the Newfoundland people who rely on this work and what happens if the work is gone what will they do to earn a living yadda yadda… I have a simple solutionmove to where the jobs are. I don’t mean to sound cold but that is the simple truth. I grew up in Pittsburgh and in the late 70s and early 80s the steel mills all were closing. People moved to areas where they could find work and raise their families. They prospered and life went on. And Steeler Nation was born…

  • Jay says:

    michelle Part of the probleam is this is there way of life.The locals in the yukonnwt for exzample eat off the land this has how its been for many years.If the gov says sorry you can’t do that any more that would have a very big impact on there communites and not for the good.There not going to like the fact there beeing told they can’t do this any more and must get a 95 job.An exzample would be if you went to a native reserve and said nope you can’t live here you have to get a job and no special treatment.While i am really not for the seal hunt i support the locals way of life and do not want to take that from them and we should not.

  • Mary says:

    For years I have watched and wrote and lobbied for this day as many of you have as well. This is all about money. Not culture or any of that. Cut off the money and it will end. The fight goes on but this is a day to feel a little hopeful!

  • Kelly says:

    As a Canadian I am so happy EU has decided to ban seal products! This is a move in the right direction. Its time for people in industries which create pain and suffering to any living being find a new way of survival your grandchildren will be proud. Thank you to all who supports the ban on seal hunt!!!

  • Kelly says:

    As a Canadian I am so happy EU has decided to ban seal products! This is a move in the right direction. Its time for people in industies which create pain and suffering to any living being find a new way of survival your grandchildren will be proud. Thank you to all who supports the ban on seal hunt!!!

  • beth says:

    FANTASTIC news.. it’s what we have all been WAITING and hoping for.. hope in time they will also see it’s inhumane and cruel how animals are caged up for their entire existence and then killed even skinned alive for their furs is also totally and unreprehensibly UNacceptable.. so OUT with the Fur trade in general and as a whole in the whole of the EU.. as well.. that’s what I’d like to see.. but still re. the seals.. it’s good news indeed!

  • Kelly says:

    As a Canadian I am so happy EU has decided to ban the seal products…a step in the right direction. This is truly an inspiration

  • Amanda Mitchell says:

    Im a proud Canadian but this black mark on Canada is horrendous. Stupid seal hunters. I do have to let u all know something thoughI find it ridiculous that people are boycotting Canada because of this. If we boycotted entire countried because of something like this than every single country would be banned. Dont think your country is ‘better’ than mine there are people from your countries coming here to hunt the seals too its not just Canadians. Get your head outta your asses and look at what the issue really is The issue is that people from around the world come to the Seal hunt and kill innocent seals in a barbaric unnecessary way and for a dumb reason. Lets come together and boycott seal products not the country that unfortunately bears the event. Because remember it is the cause that we are against not the country.

  • Scott Hillen says:

    Fabulous news. Long overdue.. The world will be a better place for this decision..

  • michelle says:

    To Yank Jay and John The world has changed and the Canadian gov’t needs to evolve. Instead of fighting this ban they should help educate and train the sealers to learn a different trade a sustainable cruelty free trade. Bludgeoning baby seals shouldn’t be the only skill they ever know. Why not contribute and give back to nature what they have taken for so long. Be inspired by the fishing industry who has cleaned up tons of fishing waste ie. tackles nets poles etc. left in the ocean by sport fishers and made money from recycling it. They used something against them to their advantage. Not only have they helped their fishing income they have also helped save marine life and cleaned up the ocean a bit. If you want to read more about it go to NPR public radio or

  • Tatiana says:

    I would like to reply to John who left his comment above! Could you please explain how it has been proven that seal hunt is humane????? Unless for you humane is beating the heads of helpless animals until death and skinning them alive. If that is the case then I am sorry to say but you are probably a sadist! What is more I doubt whether the salary of a seal hunter can be compared with the profit that the companies make from the trading of seal products! And if you worry about human rights then why don’t you worry about famine in third world countries war the economic crisis etc. that has destroyed the lives of millions of people around the world and you worry so much about the lives of a few seal hunters who I wonder how they manage to sleep at night with the job that they do! Fishing is an option!We live in the 21st century Jonh and we are supposed to be educated cultured people who respect the lives of other human beings and of the animal kingdom alike. Noone has the right to kill animals in such a way and for a reason that serves the profits of some companies and of the Canadian government!I am sure they can find other ways to make profit!!

  • Anna Dunn says:

    God Bless PETA!! SAVE THE SEALS!!!!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Ok I live in Canada. Newfoundland to be specific. The seal hunt is quite popular here so naturally we know plenty of information about it. I don’t intend on sticking up for sealers or the hunt because I don’t agree with it either but I do want you to know THEY DO NOT KILL WHITECOATS. Babies. That little seal shown in the picture above? Not hunted. It’s illegal. Like I said I don’t support or agree with the seal hunt but wouldn’t it be nice if we actually had the facts straight? I think so. So yes sure support the ban of seal products or whatever you want but don’t spread false information. That’s not right.

  • Adge says:

    IAM SO HAPPY TODAY FOR THE SEALS!!!!! What comes around goes around and karma will catch up eventually with those brutal killers..

  • Adge says:

    This is not humane hunt i could care less if all the sealers DROP DEAD…

  • kate says:

    thank god……….now if we could just get justice and basic rights for all animals

  • Kathy says:

    Amen! GOD is smiling

  • Michelle Philipsborn says:

    i am so happy to hear this! yaaay for the seals! hopefully very very soon the seal slaughter will end all together!

  • John says:

    This is a sad sad day. The hunt in Canada has been proven to be humane and this will be a crushing blow to the many coastal families who rely on the income from the sealing industry to meet basic needs. Do any of you people ever worry about the ethical treatment of humans?

  • Jay says:

    People What some are missing is this.The seals rely on fish to live if it was not for this hunt there would not be enough fish not even close.So sure if the hunt gets banned ok then waht you going to hagve millions of seals that starve to death.So don’t think banning this hunt we save the seals it won’t.More seals will end up dead and then we will have a much bigger probleam.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Get ready to watch Harper and his cronies squirm and ask for exemptions and make attempts to defend the huntthis will be a sickening and embarrassing spectacle for any Canadian citizen to watch. I think the EU ban will be the final straw. Good riddance!

  • Ciara Lanza says:

    Thank freaking Gosh! Man.. Canada stop being stupid. I love Canada I live here. In Canada. BUT I DO NOT AGREE WITH OUR IGNORANT GOVERNMENT.

  • Brenda McNeilly says:

    As a Canadian and animal activist today is a historic moment. For decades my government has spent tens of billions of dollars FUNDING the national shame of our seal hunt at the expense of Canadian taxpayers in spite of the fact that sealing involves for less than 2 of Newfoundland communities less than $200 a year per sealer is earned it is a nonsustainable income source and last but not least it is inherently brutally inhumane. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying as a Canadian I’d personally write a check for $200 right now to help fund a compassionate and sustainable income source for a sealer such as photography or a green collar position.

  • Nisha says:

    Its amazing!! Peta keep up the good work!

  • Mary says:

    I EU and Seals!

  • Valerie says:

    What a victory! This is a pivotal action needed to deal a death blow to this hideous seal hunt. Canada was quite concerned this would happen.

  • Ludwine Netens says:

    I want to stop this afwul sealhunt it’s unberable ! Please stop it ! Ludwine Netens Belgium

  • Michele Glascott says:

    Thank God!! This is a now a step in the right dierection to end this disgusting act of sheer barbaricness What sort of person does this “job” have they no soul?

  • Matija says:

    Finally! I’m sure that this awful practice will fully end soon. This is a huge encouragement for future struggle for animal rights! We will never stop!

  • Irene says:

    This makes me so happy to hear about but it really is a shame that Canada wants to challenge the ban on it at all. Hopefully EU will stick to its guns and not allow those products to be sold any longer. I really hope this ends soon. I want this hunt to be a thing of the past too but not because these beautiful animals become a thing of the past. No thank you! 3 Save the seals!

  • Cassell Todd says:

    This is a tremendous victory but it’s only half the battle. We still have to urge Canada to BAN seal slaughter! I have a renewed faith in mankind today

  • ines vasquez says:

    Hurray for the seals!!!

  • VCH says:

    What a victory to a long drawn out fight! Congratulations to all who have stepped up to help the seals! Thanks to the EU for the support and voting the right way! Thanks to all! We can make a difference!

  • John Purves says:

    I still remember the horror from my my first encounter with seal murderers when i was 6 yrs old and it was on the 6 o clock news and i was literally screaming at my dad to make them stop to which he replied i cant make them stop and that horrified me even further so another 36 yrs on and we are almost at the end of one of historys most sickening murderous practicesthis is a celebration of all the hard work that everyone has done over the years but the battle is not quite over yet just one more obstacle but right now my heart is singing for this seal victory.

  • Sanja says:

    Wow this is greati’m so proud of you people now and full of hope that this and other animal slaughters can really be stopped!We need to keep making effort and influencing others so that injustice towards all animals is destroyed forever…For example skinning of dogs and cats in China is a huuuuuge problem and lets do something about it as well!

  • Lynne says:

    Oh yes! Well all I can say is that it’s about darn time they woke up to this horrible cruelty.

  • Yank says:

    I hope you all are passing the hat around to chip in for the Atlantic Canadians who just lost a significant portion of their income. Why can’t protests of fast food restaurants beef ranches or chicken farms receive this type of support? Even the tobacco industry which kills thousands of people annually?

  • Giorgia says:

    Today I’m so proud to be a European citizen like never before!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have tears of joy! So happy I can’t even talk! YES!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Denise says:

    I’m glad that they put a ban on the sale of seal products. I’m no real fanatic when it comes to the whole animal rights thing because I am pretty sure that animals play a big role in our lives. The way that these animals are brutally slaughtered isn’t right and shouldn’t be allowed. Sure there is no real way to kill an animal without pain but there is a way to do it humanely and this isn’t being done to many animals are being tortured plus slaughtering a baby is just wrong. My opinion expect some negative comments but I don’t really care.

  • Maureen says:

    Great news but we must not forget the seal massacres in Scotland and Nambia!

  • Barbara Wilson says:

    I have tears of joy right now! Hurray for the seals! As mentioned above hopefully the seal slaughter will become a terrible thing of the past. This proves that if you speak out people will listen and act so keep it up people keep it up!!!

  • jodi says:

    Canada is stil optimistic that they can keep the barbaric hunt…maybe it’s time they realize that the way the seals are killed is vile and look at it from that point of view…..However it is a big day for the seals

  • Jaquie says:

    Thank god we are moving in the right direction. We need to push the same campaign for the farmed fur animals.

  • Andrew says:

    This is a step in the right directionhowever Now they need to save the seals completely by banning the slaughter altogether! Save the Seals!

  • oceanworior says:

    the EU pan spells the end of the baby seal massacre. it wont be long before the killing of baby seals in their nursery’s is a forgotten thing of the past.