International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Fund for Animal Welfare

July 19, 2007 11:42 ET

IFAW: The Netherlands Becomes the Second EU Nation to Ban the Trade in Seal Products

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - July 19, 2007) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - is thrilled by The Netherlands' announcement yesterday to ban all trade of seal products. IFAW has actively campaigned to achieve a national ban in The Netherlands for several years. The decree was made official in July 17th 2007's edition of the States' Journal, the country's official communication of Dutch laws, decrees & statutes. This decision makes The Netherlands the second EU nation to ban seal products this year.

The ban officially removes the Dutch market from the international commercial seal trade, sending another strong warning to the Canadian government that European markets for seal products are continuing to shrink.

This governmental regulation bans the trade in all products derived from harp and hooded seals, the two seals species traded in the Netherlands. The killing of their own indigenous seals, the Grey and Harbour seal, has been banned since 1969.

"IFAW would like to thank the Dutch Minister of Nature and the Members of Parliament, both from the former government and current, for their dedication and support towards this legislation. In the past couple of years many MP's from the Labour, Liberal and Socialistic Party have made a tremendous contribution to the cause." says Marcel Bertsch, director of The Netherlands IFAW office.

European opposition to the Canadian commercial seal hunt has grown in the last year with Belgium adopting the first national ban in the EU on seal products in January. This decision came shortly after the European Parliament's resolution in support of an EU-wide trade ban. In February, the German parliament publicly reaffirmed its intention to institute a national ban and to continue to support steps for the EU-wide ban. IFAW has campaigned for trade bans within Europe, and continues to campaign throughout the world to protect seals.

The global community has denounced Canada's seal hunt and responded with other seal trade bans. Along with The Netherlands, national bans also currently exist in Belgium, the USA, Mexico, Croatia and Italy, while a ban in Germany is soon to be adopted.

To learn more about IFAW's efforts to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt, visit

Contact Information

  • International Fund for Animal Welfare
    Marie-France Lettre
    Communications Officer
    613-241-3982 ext. 225
    Mobile : 613-355-3281