Humane Society International/Canada

Humane Society International/Canada

April 25, 2013 10:00 ET

Court Dismisses Sealing Industry Attempt to Overturn EU Ban on Cruel Seal Products: Humane Society International Applauds Ruling

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - April 25, 2013) - The European General Court has wisely decided to uphold the European Union's ban on commercial trade in seal products. The court rejected a spurious attempt by the sealing and fur trade industries and some Inuit representatives to undermine the ban, which plays a key role in curbing the cruel global trade.

"We are thrilled that the European General Court has rejected this shameful attempt by the commercial sealing industry to overturn the EU ban on seal product trade," said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. "Hundreds of thousands of baby seals have survived the seal hunt in recent years because Europeans have said no to the products of this cruel slaughter. Eighty-six percent of Canadians support the EU's right to ban seal products, and the sealing industry's constant efforts to force their products onto an unwilling international market is a true embarrassment to Canada."

The court rejected applicants' attempt to annul the Commission Regulation, which puts forth detailed rules for the implementation of the EU ban on commercial trade in seal products.

In September 2011, the European General Court also dismissed an action by commercial sealing interests to annul the ban, on the grounds of inadmissibility of the applicants. Another application to have the EU seal product trade ban was also rejected in April 2010.

A further legal challenge to the ban brought by the Canadian and Norwegian governments is under consideration by the World Trade Organisation. A second hearing will take place next week in Geneva on 29th and 30th April. Having recently returned from documenting the 2013 commercial seal slaughter, HSI representatives will attend the second WTO hearing and will be available for comment.

Footage and stills from the seal slaughter are available upon request.

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world's largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide - on the Web at

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