IFAW applauds European Parliament resolution to ban seal product trade

Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Strasbourg, France
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare -www.ifaw.org) applauds a new European Parliament resolution backing a ban on seal products as a vital step towards ending Canada’s cruel commercial seal hunt.
IFAW and other groups successfully lobbied more than half of all MEPs to sign a Written Declaration calling for an end to the trade in seal products. A total of 368 MEPs signed the Written Declaration 38, which will now be forwarded to the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, demanding that a ban is implemented.
 
The Declaration was submitted by five MEPs (Carl Schlyter, Paulo Casaca, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Mojca Drcar Murko and Caroline Lucas) who represent the four important political groups in the Parliament. It also highlights current legislative initiatives in a number of EU Member States (Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy) and those countries which have already banned the trade in seal products (USA, Mexico and Croatia).
 
IFAW believes that a European ban will help their campaign to end the hunt by reducing demand for products. It will send an important message to the Canadian Government that the European Union wants no part in this hunt. IFAW also hopes that this resolution will encourage the Belgian Parliament to adopt the legislative proposal by the Belgian Government to prohibit the trade in all seal-derived products by the end of the year.
 
Lesley O’Donnell, director of IFAW EU, said: “We are delighted that this declaration has been adopted by the European Parliament. It’s another important step towards closing the European markets for seal-derived products.”
 
German MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz said: “I’m very pleased about the support from my colleagues. It shows that Europe is aware of its global responsibility for the protection of the environment and the welfare of animals.”
 
For the President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup in the European Parliament, Paulo Casaca, the number of signatures shows the commitment of the European Parliament to animal welfare. “I hope that the European Commission will take very quickly the appropriate steps to ensure the implementation of the seal ban.”

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