Federal Government protracts trade ban for seal products

Thursday, 18 October, 2007
Hamburg, Germany
One year ago, on October 19th 2006, the Bundestag unanimously decided on the introduction of a trade ban for all seal products in Germany. Until today, this has not been implemented. IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare; www.ifaw.org) calls on the Federal Government to comply with the Bundestag’s will and to introduce a national trade ban promptly.
Federal Minister Seehofer declared in March 2007 publicly that he wanted to implement a national trade ban speedily as a legislative procedure on an EU-level could take years. In a letter to IFAW in September 2007 though, Mr. Seehofer declared that the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel now wants to wait for a European Commission’s expertise on the subject.

The EU Environmental Commissioner Dimas had himself recommended national bans to the EU member states. Only as many national bans as possible could confine the trade and could – in the end – bring about an EU-wide ban. Because of this, Germany should finally follow Belgium’s, Slovenia’s and the Netherlands’ example. They have already introduced trade bans.

“What more than all votes of the German Bundestag does the Federal Government need” Dr. Ralf Sonntag, director of IFAW Germany asks. “It is a scandal that single ministries and Federal Chancellor Merkel ignore the will of the elected Parliament and push the responsibility towards the EU. The seals can not wait for an EU regulation as the next hunting season will begin in spring.”

According to an Infratest public-opinion poll initiated by IFAW, 75,8% of the German citizens support a national trade ban.

In order to remind the Federal Government of their obligation with the Bundestag, IFAW has adverts in three German daily newspapers tomorrow – on the anniversary of the Bundestag’s resolution. The adverts were developed by the Hamburg advertising agency Springer & Jacoby for IFAW free of charge.

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