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The Canadian commercial seal hunt is a horribly cruel practice, killing tens of thousands of innocent marine mammals every year.

August 20, 2010 was a significant day in the struggle to stop Canada’s inhumane slaughter of baby seals for their pelts and other body parts. That’s the day when the EU’s ban on the trade of seal products went into effect.

Since the ban there has been a dramatic drop in the Canadian commercial hunt: About 40,400 seals were killed in 2011, down from a high of about 354,000 seals in 2006. The end of the seal hunt may finally be here.

Canada and Norway are not yet ready to give in to what seems inevitable, however. The two began their challenge of the EU ban on February 18, 2012 before the World Trade Organization, an intergovernmental organisation based in Geneva that was established in 1994 and now comprises 154 member countries.

The WTO makes and enforces international trade regulations between members who agree to keep import tariffs low and to remove regulations that hinder the flow of goods, services and capital.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been urging the EU to stand firm in defense of the seal ban. You can help by taking action now! Please send an email to David Lidington MP, UK Minister for Europe, asking him to defend the EU seal ban.

Letter to
MP, Minister for Europe David Lidington
The EU seal ban was a tremendous victory for millions of Europeans who wanted nothing to do with the inherent cruelty of commercial seal hunting and cemented Europe’s reputation as a global leader in animal welfare.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) decision to uphold the majority of the seal ban shows that this global leadership is consistent with most of the EU’s trade obligations. In order for the EU ban to be fully compliant, the WTO has indicated that the exceptions in the legislation need to be adjusted.

When you work with the EU Parliament on those changes you must not detract from the original goal of the EU seal ban, which is to keep the products of cruelty out of the EU.

Please defend the ban at the EU Council.