Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Sussex MEP wins EU ban on seal hunt products
An overwhelming majority of Euro-MPs have voted to ban the trade of seal products in the EU – as first proposed by Sussex’s Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas.
MEPs in Strasbourg yesterday voted to ban the trade in hunted seal fur by 550 to 49 with 41 abstentions.
Dr Lucas is Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s cross-party animal welfare group and co-sponsor of the original Written Declaration – the EU’s equivalent of an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons – first calling for the ban in 2006.
She said: "This decision is a victory for the global campaign against animal cruelty, and a victory for European democracy.
"Nearly one million seals are slaughtered annually in commercial seal hunts around the world, and the products of those slaughters - primarily fur - are legally traded in the EU. By closing the door on fur and other seal products, Parliament has taken meaningful action to reduce the scale of cruel commercial seal killing.
"This vote will save hundreds of thousands of seals from being clubbed and shot under cruel conditions in Canada and elsewhere."
Dr Lucas added: "I remember many meetings with Commission officials at which we were told a ban on the trade of seal products would be impossible. This vote goes to show that, with political will, the support of NGOs and the overwhelming balance of public opinion, seemingly impossible things become possible."