International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Fund for Animal Welfare

November 28, 2007 13:10 ET

International Fund for Animal Welfare: Austrian Chancellor Backs Seal Product Ban

VIENNA, AUSTRIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2007) - Austrian Chancellor, Alfred Gusenbauer, today signaled his support for the immediate implementation of a national ban on the import of seal products after receiving a poll presented by the Director of IFAW Germany, Dr Ralf Sonntag.

The IFAW poll indicates that 80.5 % of Austrians support a seal trade ban, and the Austrian Parliament voted unanimously in support of a ban on importation, processing and distribution of seal skins on 24 April 2007.

"The Austrian government is responding to the wishes of the Austrian people-it is now time to implement the ban," said Dr Sonntag.

Despite decades of worldwide protests, the Canadian government has continued to allow the slaughter of more than a million harp seals in the last four years. In response, many countries are now introducing national bans on seal products in order to close the markets and send a clear message to Canada.

"The Canadian government has wasted countless thousands of taxpayer dollars sending delegations to Europe in support of Canada's commercial seal hunt," said Sheryl Fink, IFAW Canada spokesperson.

"However, Europeans are listening to the facts and the facts are that this is a cruel, unsustainable and wasteful hunt which must be stopped, and they want no part of it."

National trade bans on seal products already exist in the US, Mexico, Slovenia, Croatia, Belgium and the Netherlands. Germany has voted in support of a ban and Italy and France show signs of moving towards a seal product ban.

Contact Information

  • IFAW Canada
    Marie-France Lettre
    613-241-3982 ext. 225
    Cell: 613-355-3281