The European Parliament made history this week when we voted overwhelmingly to ban trade in seal products. This vote means that all three European Union (EU) institutions – the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament – are now in agreement, and seal products will no longer be placed on the market within the EU.
Europe has been a primary market for Canadian seal products, and this ban may well spell the beginning of the end of the slaughter!
Closing markets saves seals’ lives. Just the prospect of an EU ban on the seal product trade was enough to drive the prices for seal fur down to just $15 Canadian per skin this year – a decline of 86 percent since 2006.
Many sealers chose not to hunt seals this year as a result, and to date, out of a quota of 338,200 seals, just 57,622 have been killed. It is likely that when the seal hunt officially ends on 15 May, a quarter of a million seals will have been spared a horrible death. Now that the EU has banned its trade in seal products, countless more seals will live out their lives in peace from this year forward.