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Plans Presented To Ban Seal Fur Trade In Europe

Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (UK)

Plans presented to ban Seal fur trade in Europe

The UK government has welcomed plans for a European ban on trade in seal products. European Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas today announced his proposal to end the trade.

The UK has urged the EU to prohibit the import of sealskin products as the only effective way to stop inhumane hunting methods around the world. Trade Minister Gareth Thomas said:

"The UK has pressed hard for a European ban on trade in sealskin products and this proposal is welcome news. Cruel and inhumane seal hunting is unacceptable and an EU measure is the best way we can help to end it around the world. We will now examine the details of the Commission's plans, to ensure that they can make a real difference."

Animal Welfare Minister Jeff Rooker said:

"The UK has a strong history of animal welfare, and I hope the EU proposals will help stop cruelty to seal populations."

Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said:

"I welcome this proposed ban; we have lobbied in the past to promote EU-wide action and this outcome is an important step forward."

The European Parliament and Council of the EU will now discuss whether to approve the proposed ban.

Existing European legislation bans the trade in sealskin products from harp and hooded seal pups under a certain age.

NOTES

1. UK government policy is to seek an EU-wide ban on trade in sealskin products. Ministers wrote to Commissioner Dimas in 2007 and again earlier this year to set out the case for a ban.

2. A report published in December 2007 by the European Food Safety Authority found strong evidence that in practice, killing methods used in seal hunting were not always as humane as possible.

Client ref 2008/150
COI ref 163843P

ENDS

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