VICTORY FOR THE CANADIAN SEALS!
EU BANS THE SEAL TRADE!
WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THOSE WHO WROTE TO EU
THRU THIS WEBSITE.THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH!!!
Canadian Delegation in Brussels to Stop Proposed Seal Ban
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Canadian officials are in Brussels this week in an attempt to persuade the European Union to abandon its proposed plan to ban imports of seal products. If passed, the proposal would ban seal products from countries whose hunting practices involve 'unnecessary pain'.
Rumours of a vote on the EU proposal are not new. However, recent moves from Canada suggest that they feel a vote is imminent. Canadian officials say that the EU may attempt a vote before its annual seal hunt gets underway in March of this year. However, similarly timed sabre-rattling from Brussels took place in April 2008 but no vote ultimately took place (see Bridges Trade BioRes, 4 April 2008, http://ictsd.net/i/news/biores/10505/).
The Canadian delegation's arrival in Brussels is the country's second major move in recent weeks to convince the EU that hunting practices are not as cruel as lobbyists would have them believe. In December the Canadian government issued new rules governing the way in which hunters determined whether seals were, in fact, dead before skinning them.
The proposed EU ban is meant to "ensure that products derived from seals killed and skinned in ways that cause pain, distress and suffering are not found on the European market." Canada's new rules, published in the Canada Gazette - the country's official government publication of laws - on 27 December, are specifically designed to appease European concerns.
"The method of harvesting seals in the current Regulations.would fail to meet the derogation criteria presented in the proposed European ban on seal products," the document reads. "As a result, Canada could face a potential ban of its seal products to Europe, which would represent a loss for an export industry worth $13 [million] and a critical element of the livelihood of 6,000 sealers in rural communities across Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the North."
The existing rules require hunters to perform a 'blinking reflex test', to determine whether a seal is unconscious before skinning. This test has been replaced by a 'three-step process' of stunning, checking, and bleeding seals for 60 seconds before processing.
Loyola Sullivan, Canada's ambassador for fisheries conservation insists that the changes take into account recommendations of the International Veterinarians' Working Group - a panel of nine veterinarians from Canada, France, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Sullivan says that Canada is already considering retaliatory trade options. "Canada strongly believes that what's proposed is in violation of WTO and GATT provisions," Sullivan said recently. "There's a whole host of aspects we think violates their obligations."
The EU already has a ban on fur imports from white-coated pups. Canada lodged a complaint at the WTO dispute mechanism over the EU bans in September 2007 (see Bridges Trade BioRes, 5 October 2007, http://www.ictsd.org/biores/07-10-05/inbrief.htm). However, no panel has been established and no settlement has been notified.
Belgium and the Netherlands have already independently banned imports of seal products. While Canada is in a position to challenge the bans at the WTO, officials say they hope to resolve both the existing and proposed bans through dialogue.
"Canada 'Tweaks' Seal Hunt Rules to Avert EU Trade Ban," ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE, 30 December 2008; "New Seal Regs Aim to Stave off EU Ban," THE HILL TIMES, 14 January 2009; "Canadian delegation asks EU to drop proposed seal product ban," CBC NEWS, 21 January 2009.
Friday, January 23, 2009
THE EU HAS BACKED OFF AND SOLD OUT ,ON BANNING SEAL PRODUCTS!
PLEASE CROSSPOST WIDELY ~
As predicted, the EU has BACKED OFF and SOLD OUT, on banning seal products imported into EU countries. Their decision to maintain the status quo, means another year of draconian bureaucracies waging bloody, merciless Armageddon against helpless babes being stabbed, beaten, shot and skinned alive. It becomes more obvious than ever, that those who possess compassion and empathy must lead the charge to override politicians, whose only bottom line is what's-in-it- for-me... we continue to battle the age-old problem of dealing with governments that remain deaf, dumb and blind to the will of the majority.
To be heard requires a massive PUBLIC OUTCRY--IT REQUIRES GETTING INVOLVED. Please continue to voice your disgust and opposition to the worldwide speciescide taking place in Eastern Canada, Namibia, Greenland, Norway and Russia by BOYCOTTING products, goods, services [including internet trade] and travel to the offending nations. And ALWAYS remember to contact Depts. of Tourism in these countries to make them aware that you ARE BOYCOTTING AND WHY.
EASTERN CANADA SEALING PROVINCES
EMAIL: info@bonjourquebec. com
[info at bonjourquebec dot com]
NOVA SCOTIA TOURISM
EMAIL: info@nstourism. com
[info at nstourism dot com]
MAGDALEN ISLANDS TOURISM
EMAIL: info@tourismeilesde lamadeleine. com
[info at tourismeilesdelamad eleine dot com]
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR TOURISM
EMAIL: tourisminfo@ mail.gov. nf.ca
[tourisminfo at mail dot gov dot nf dot ca]
EMAIL: info@namibiatourism .com.na
[info at namibiatourism dot com dot na]
[norway at ntr dot no]
EMAIL: info@greenland. com
[info at greenland dot com]
EMAIL: info@visitrussia. org.uk
[info at visitrussia dot org dot uk]
STAVROS DIMAS -- EU Commissioner For Environment
EMAIL: stavros.dimas@ ec.europa. eu
[stavros dot dimas at ec dot europa dot eu]
SAMPLE LETTER: [vary to make it your own]
What will it take for you to stop the bloody massacre of defenseless marine mammals? Due to arrogance, greed and stupidity, our oceans have been raped clean. The seas are vast dead zones. The scapegoating of these seals and other creatures who belong, continues without reflection or remorse. You have denied the compassionate a voice in this war on wildlife, stripping generations of the opportunities to appreciate the enormous contributions that these creatures make to our planet. You have broken the delicate chain of life in all its God-given perfection. You are blind, and that blindness is killing us all. I, my friends, family and co-workers will be boycotting ALL goods, services and travel to your country. We will do everything within our power to stop your mindless destruction. I sincerely hope that the specter of a sharp economic decline will help you realize that these animals are valuable, they are revered, not for the currency their body parts bring, but because they have a right to a peaceful existence, the same right that you so pompously afford yourselves, but deny others.
http://www.european voice.com/ article/2009/ 01/proposed- seal-trade- ban-harpooned/ 63723.aspx
PROPOSED SEAL TRADE BAN HARPOONED
By Jennifer Rankin -- Jan. 22, 2009
Author of European Parliament report describes proposed ban as "worst of both worlds"; Greenland brings case against ban to Brussels.
A proposal from the European Commission to ban most trade in seal products could prove to be unworkable, according to an influential MEP.
Diana Wallis, a British Liberal (ALDE) MEP who is the Parliament's rapporteur on the issue, told European Voice that the proposed ban was "the worst of both worlds" as it contained too many exemptions to work while also harming "fragile indigenous communities" (???) of traditional seal hunters. Wallis said it was "a ban with a huge hole in the middle" that could result in entire countries being exempt. "I want to achieve better treatment of these beautiful animals," she said, "but I do also think we need to respect the Inuit communities". (????)
Last year the European Commission proposed a ban on seal products that are traded within and into the EU. But the ban is studded with exceptions, for products proven to meet animal welfare standards and for traditional Inuit seal hunts.
Wallis believes that the regulation has been drawn up too quickly and that the EU risks legal challenges if it goes ahead with a ban. She suggests that the EU has over-stepped its competence. "We cannot legislate for Canadian hunting, any more than we can regulate fox-hunting in the UK," she said. quote Greenland says existing exemption for Inuits has not helped indigenous hunters quote
Instead, Wallis proposes a mandatory labeling system that would state whether seal products - skin, fat and meat - meet animal-welfare standards. The Commission also wants a certification system so consumers know that seal products meet animal-welfare standards.
Wallis faces a challenge in the European Parliament, where animal welfare is an emotive issue. Frieda Brepoels, a Belgian centre-right (EPP-ED) who is drafting the environment committee's position on the Parliamentary report written by Wallis, wants to toughen the Commission's proposal. Brepoels calls for a full ban on seal products with a limited exemption for Inuit communities. "Only a total ban meets the widely demonstrated concerns of European citizens," she argues.
In 2006, 425 MEPs backed a resolution in favour of banning trade in harp and hooded species of seals. Wallis said she expected that the regulation would split parliamentary groups.
Impact on Greenland
Finn Karlsen, Greenland's fisheries, hunting and agriculture minister, told European Voice that the proposal would have negative consequences for hunters in Greenland. The minister said that an existing exemption for Inuits from current rules had not helped indigenous hunters and led to the government off Greenland paying out large subsidies to support hunters.
"Seal hunting has been part of our culture for 1,000 years," the minister said. "We all eat seal meat and we are dependent on seal hunters."
Karlsen also said that the Inuit way of hunting met animal-welfare standards: "Greenlanders hunt with rifles. They shoot them [the seals] in the head and they die immediately."
The minister said that the Wallis labelling proposal was "more acceptable" than a ban, but needed to be evaluated very carefully.
The majority of the 900,000 seals that are killed each year worldwide come from non-EU countries, chiefly Canada, Greenland, Namibia, Norway and Russia. But a ban would split the EU. While Sweden, Finland and the UK have small-scale seal hunts, Belgium and the Netherlands have passed laws to restrict trade in seal products, while Germany is considering such a law.
The Parliament's environment committee discussed Wallis's report on the Commission's proposal on 21 January. Its internal market and consumer protection committee will also vote on Wallis's report on 17 February and the full Parliament will vote in April. The Czech presidency of the EU hopes to lead the Parliament and the Council of Ministers to a first-reading agreement before July.