Humane Society International/Canada

Humane Society International/Canada

November 22, 2013 15:37 ET

Media Advisory/Available for Comment: Humane Society International/Canada Available for Comment as World Trade Organization Releases Final Report in EU Seal Products Trade Dispute

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 22, 2013) - Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, will be available for comment as the World Trade Organization releases its final report regarding the Canadian and Norwegian challenges of the European Union prohibition on trade in products of commercial seal slaughters. The decision will set an important precedent for animal welfare and global trade in animal products. Canada's WTO challenge flies in the face of Canadian public opinion given 86 percent of Canadians support the right of the EU to ban seal products.

WHO: Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada, has observed Canada's commercial seal slaughter for each of the past 15 years and attended the WTO hearings on the EU seal product trade dispute.
WHAT: The WTO is expected to release its final report concerning the Canadian and Norwegian challenge against the European Union ban on commercial trade in seal products.
WHEN: November 25, 2013
WHERE: Rebecca Aldworth is in Montreal and is available to speak with journalists
WHY: In 2010, Canada and Norway launched a WTO challenge against the European Union in response to its seal product trade ban. All parties presented their cases earlier this year and the WTO is expected to release its final report on November 25th.


  • Humane Society International has campaigned to end Canada's commercial seal hunt for many years, documenting the commercial seal slaughter each year and escorting media parliamentarians to do the same, and working to remove the economic incentives for fishermen to commercially slaughter seals.
  • HSI played a central role in helping to defend the European Union ban on seal product trade from the Canadian and Norwegian WTO challenge. Extensive HSI video evidence of commercial sealing was shown to the WTO panel, HSI coauthored an Amicus Brief that was considered in the case and HSI representatives attended the Panel hearings.
  • Global markets for seal products are closing fast. In 2009, the European Union joined the United States, Mexico and Croatia in prohibiting trade in products of commercial seal hunts. In 2011, the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus prohibited trade in harp seal fur, and in 2013, Taiwan ended its trade in all marine mammal products (including seal products).
  • With more than two million seals killed since 2002 alone, Canada's commercial seal slaughter is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth.
  • The seals are killed primarily for their fur and because the skins of very young pups are the most valuable, 98 percent of the seals killed are less than three months old at the time of slaughter.
  • Because most Canadians oppose commercial sealing, the sealing industry relies almost exclusively on export markets to sell its products.

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International-one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than eleven million members and constituents globally-on the Web at

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Christopher Pare