EU Trade Commissioner de Gucht stands strong for seals
As the EU defends the 27 (soon to be 28 country) ban on seal products before the next WTO panel hearing, it is vital that we bolster our efforts to demonstrate the strength of public opposition to the cruelty of seal hunting.
In 2010 the EU introduced a ban on the sale of seal products in response to years of overwhelming public opposition to the cruelty involved in commercial seal hunting.
Since the ban was implemented, the number of seals hunted in Canada has dropped dramatically so we know that the EU ban has had a significant impact on protecting seals from the cruelty and suffering of commercial hunting.
However, the EU ban has now been challenged by Canada and Norway who claim that the ban does not comply with rules established by the World Trade Organisation.
IFAW believes strongly that the ban fully complies with WTO rules and is vigorously supporting the EU’s defence of its ban before the WTO panel. In particular, the rules allow parties to introduce import restrictions which are “necessary to protect public morals”.
I recently wrote to the EU’s trade commissioner urging him to stand strong in the defence of the ban (PDF) and was encouraged to receive a response confirming the commitment to fight hard in defence of the ban (PDF).
While social media is the communication tool of choice there is something more permanent and meaningful about a physical letter.
In order to help the European Commission protect the ban it is essential that we all show our support by writing to the EU commissioners for the environment and trade to explain how we personally feel about the trade in seal parts and urging them to support the seal ban regardless of the outcome of the WTO hearings.
Please support the campaign to protect the seal ban by writing a letter today to each of the following EU commissioners explaining why the ban on seal products is important to you:
Mr Janez Potočnik
European Commissioner for the Environment
Mr Karel De Gucht
European Commissioner for Trade