2013 off to a great start as Taiwan bans seal products

A growing number of Asian consumers are opposed to the cruel commercial slaughter of sealsSome great news to start off 2013, as Taiwan passed legislation this week to close its markets to marine mammal products, including seal meat, oil, and fur from Canada’s commercial seal hunt. 

Similar to the 2009 restrictions on seal products by the European Union, the new amendment includes an exception for products derived from aboriginal seal hunting.  

New laws to clamp down on the sale of seal products over the internet are now expected, with violators subject to fines up to $1700 USD.

From 2007-2011, Taiwan was the 4th largest importer of Canadian seal oil and the 3rd largest importer of Canadian seal meat. 

However, in spite of efforts by the Canadian government to market seal products in Asia, Canadian exports of seal oil to Taiwan have been plummeting since campaigns against seal hunting began, dropping from a value of $232,000 CAD in 2009 to $66,490 in 2011. 

The Canadian sealing industry has been stockpiling seal products in recent years, in the hopes that markets for them will open up in Asia. 

Closing the Taiwanese market to seal products is yet another blow to the dying sealing industry, and further evidence that the world does not want – nor need – Canada to continue its commercial seal slaughter.

Congratulations to Taiwan for prohibiting the sale of marine mammal products, and taking this important step to protect seals. 

There are 34 countries which now ban the trade in seal products, most notably the 27 Member States of the EU, Russia (which reportedly represented approximately 90% of the export market for seal fur) and the USA (Canada’s closest trading partner). An agreement between Canada and China to allow edible seal products to be exported to China has not been ratified, and there are reports of China considering banning seal products as well.

--SF

For more information about our efforts to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt, visit our campaign page.

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