Europe May Soon Seal the Fate of the Seal Slaughter

The European Parliament Resolution introduced by Green Party European Member of Parliament Dr. Caroline Lucas to ban seal pelts has received a record number of signatures.

The written declaration to ban seal pelts only required 367 signatures by September 15th to be formally adopted as an official resolution. That number was reached on September 7th. When the deadline was reached, a historic record was achieved with 425 signatures from members of the European Parliament.

Europe is sending a message loud and clear to the Canadian government that the obscene and barbaric slaughter of 350,000 seal pups each year in Canada has no place in the 21st Century.

"In 1984, the European ban on whitecoated baby seals shut down the commercial seal hunt," said Captain Paul Watson. "That was permanent. Canada no longer kills 2-week old seals. However, Canada resurrected the slaughter by targeting seal pups over 3-weeks old. But a baby seal is a baby seal even after losing its whitecoat. The European Parliament has the power to permanently cripple this bloody slaughter with a resolution banning seal products."

European countries, including Belgium, Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands have taken steps to ban seal products. They join Mexico and the United States, which have banned all trade in marine mammal products.

The ban on seal pelts will cover harp and hood seals from Canada, and Caspian Sea seal pelts from Russia. A move is underway to also include South African fur seals in the ban. An exemption will be made for Inuit peoples of the Arctic regions. The Inuit do not participate in the East Coast slaughter but they do hunt adult seals in the far north. The Inuit take of seals is significantly lower than the Canadian commercial slaughter.

"Newfoundland is whining and sniveling loudly now," said Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. "The sealers are claiming it is a part of their culture to slaughter seals. As someone who was raised in Atlantic Canada from a long generation of Maritime Canadians, I say that it is time that this culture of death and cruelty is eliminated. The slaughter of seals is unacceptable; it is grossly cruel and has caused irreparable damage to the marine ecology of the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean. With harp seal populations less than 10% of what they were when the slaughter began, I am hopeful that the Europeans will remove all commercial markets for seal pelts."

Click here to learn more about Sea Shepherd's long history of work saving seals.