Rectification: EU-Commission does not reject seal ban

Monday, January 29, 2007
Brussels, Belgium
Contrary to a report by an international news agency, the European Commission has not rejected the possibility of banning all seal-derived products. In September 2006, the European Parliament called on the Commission to introduce an EU-wide ban on the trade in all seal products. The Commission’s official reply simply states – as with all legislative proposals – that further investigation is required into the issue before a seal ban proposal could be made. The Commission reply literally concludes: “Based on a full, objective assessment, it will draw the conclusions from this assessment and come back with possible legislative proposals if this is warranted by the situation.”
“The Commission’s reply provides a description of the current EU legislative framework applied to this issue and an analysis of how to possibly address the Parliament’s request”, said IFAW’s political campaigner in the EU Office, Gaia Angelini. She also highlighted the Commission’s “commitment to high animal welfare standards”.

Last week, the Belgian Parliament voted unanimously to implement a national ban on the import of all seal products, making Belgium the first nation in the European Union to do so. The ban closes the Belgian market for the commercial seal trade, sending an important message to the Canadian government that Belgium wants no part of Canada’s cruel commercial seal hunt.

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