Amazing Support Secures Vote in European Parliament Committee

This report was filed by Barbara Slee - The International Fund for Animal Welfare's Political and Campaigns officer on the ground in Belgium.

Members of the European parliament (MEPs) from the IMCO (Internal Market and Consumer Protection) Committee, voted on March 2 overwhelmingly in favor of a ban on the trade in seal products without any derogation, and with a single exemption for products from traditional Inuit seal hunts.

The week before this crucial vote, the legal service of the Council (representing the member states) claimed that the proposed legal basis (article 95) was inappropriate for this legislation. This advice seriously undermined the entire proposal for legislation and threatened the outcome we were hoping for; an unconditional ban on the trade in seal products coming from commercial seal hunts. We feared that months of convincing MEPs and national officials had been in vain.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare worked together with other animal welfare groups and we were in close contact with parliamentarians until the last moments before the vote. We supplied them with the necessary scientific background information and in return they kept us updated with news about negotiations and developments. At the same time, IFAW supporters sent hundreds of emails to many different MEPs asking them to support a total ban and in boxes were flooded within a few days’ time.

With great relief we witnessed at the vote that MEPs did not falter. Indeed they represented the voice of millions of citizens from all over Europe expressing their disapproval with commercial seal hunting. Not only did they vote against the proposed legislation by the European Commission (a ban with an unenforceable derogation for so-called “humane killing practices”), they also voted against the weak alternative proposed by UK MEP Diana Wallis (a labeling scheme instead of a ban).

This vote was an important step on the path to achieving an outright ban. In April the entire Parliament will have the opportunity to vote in plenary on this crucial legislation. Backed with your amazing support, we are more motivated than ever to achieve our goal: a world free from commercial seal hunts!

Comments: 3

8 years ago

Please surport Stoping the Seal Hunt.

8 years ago

Has anyone on this site actually sat down and read how they go about killing seals in the seal hunt, or have you all been brainwashed by local celebrities getting big fat pay cheques to go out and protest? while it may look more gruesome than before, today's hunting regulations are *far* more humane than most hunting practices. They do, however, leave more of a mess, as hunter now have to kill seals on the ice instead of the ships. Ever think of why there are so many pictures floating around these days?
As well, it is now illegal in Canada to kill whitecoats - I guess no one told Paul that before he came up to Newfoundland. And by the way, I am from the wonderful province of Newfoundland, and am a supporter of a *humane* seal hunt, so I've heard it all. I hate the killing of animals for fur like everyone else, but only when the rest of the body isn't used and goes to waste. As a lover of flipper pie, I can tell you that's mostly not that case here kids.
All opinions aside, lets go to facts, shall we: There are over 5 million seals in the Artic alone - that's getting extremely close to the carrying capacity of the seal's environment. We've curbed the First Nation people from taking large numbers - there goes one source of limiting population sizes. Polar bears are decreasing in number - guess you guys don't care about what global warming is doing to the icecaps. These cute little guys eventually grow up to be massive, fierce adults who like to eat fish. Fish we, infact, like to eat too.
There are a million other things that I could add here, but frankly, most of you will be disregarding this comment anyway. I just ask everyone here that, before you type another word about 'how cute they are' and 'how inhumane this is' and 'why oh why won't someone stop this??!@' you read something on the seal hunts that *doesn't* come from an anti-sealing website. Maybe some cold hard facts, and not propaganda, from *either* side.
Maybe then we can start focusing on things that are actually IN DANGER, such as the wolffish, or the cod, or the tens of whale species that are getting closer and closer to disappearing from the planet FOREVER. They may not be as cute as seal, but hey, they deserve to live too!

8 years ago

Please rectify the island's official name to Taiwan. Taiwan is a NATION.

Post a comment