EU seal product ban temporarily suspended - Macleans.ca
 

EU seal product ban temporarily suspended

Inuit group challenges legality of ban


 

The EU’s controversial seal products ban has been suspended—at least for now. The ban, which was supposed to start Friday, will not be imposed until after the EU’s General Court settles a legal challenge from the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatama, which represents Inuit in Canada, Greenland and Norway. Gail Shea, Federal Fisheries Minister, says she was pleased to hear the injunction had been granted until the case is heard in the fall or early winter. While the ban already exempts seal products produced by aboriginal groups, ITK president Mary Simon says the effect of the ban would be a collapse of the market. Stephen Harper said Wednesday that he is “very strongly in opposition” to the ban and has called it “flagrant discrimination.” The seal products ban was agreed to by 27 EU members in 2009 in recognition that many citizens view the annual seal hunt, during which animals are bludgeoned to death with clubs, is cruel.

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EU seal product ban temporarily suspended

  1. It's time that some old traditions are stopped. Bludgeoning seals that cannot even crawl away, is barbaric.
    Killing whales used to be done more, and that just atributed to some being on the endangered list.
    We humans are guilty of being the cruelist, most dangerous animal on the planet.

    • Seal hunting is more than a tradition to the Inuit..It is a way of life, It is how they live and survive……

    • 1) The seals that "cannot even crawl away" are no longer hunted; the whitecoat hunt ended years ago. Further, more seals are now hunted using rifles. The combined effect of these changes – put in place in an effort to make the sealhunt more palatable to the whiny anti-sealers – likely has increased suffering and wounded animals escaping the hunters.
      2) Livestock routinely slaughtered for consumption have next to no chance of crawling, walking or running away. How is what is done to seals any more cruel and barbaric than what happens to livestock on a regular basis? The livestock is raised specifically to be killed; they have little freedom or control over their lives; at least the seals live free and have a pretty good chance of living out a natural existence.

    • 3) Seals are not close to being "endangered"; in fact, the herda are growing. The biomass on which they feed is shrinking (as is all marine biomass; it's considered a serious global issue). Do you think it is wise to remove seals' primay predator – humans – from the ecological equation, esp. since we are also one of the biggest competitors for their food source? I don't see too many anti-sealers protesting to save the fishies, but that's really a much bigger concern. And in the end, if the biomass on which they feed collapses, starvation will ensue – surely far more cruel a fate than they would face by having us keep the herd to a manageable size.

  2. All the seals being hunted are less than 1-year-old juveniles who have just lost their whitecoats. Seals older than 1year are not hunted because their fur is not valuable. I would hardly call a lifespan of only a few months "living free and having a good chance of a natural existence"

    • The ones that are killed may have a short lifespan, but no shorter than, say, your average chicken. During that time they have completely natural lives; they aren't kept in cages or stuffed full of drugs and growth hormones. And unlike our livestock, only a small percentage end up dead (by human hands, at any rate). So, they ALL live free (as opposed to those animals whose carcasses reside in your freezer – or your neighbour's if you happen to be vegan) – and, while the chances may not pan out for some, they ALL have a CHANCE of a long and natural existence. Can your average cow say the same?

      Also, for the record, while the majority of those hunted are the young juveniles (largely, as you say, because their pelts are the most valuable), some adults are also taken. Adults are mostly taken by land-based hunters.

      • Well it is possible to support free-range organic farming and be against the seal-fur industry at the same time. Barely no one hunts seals for for food besides the Inuit, so I fail to see much of a comparison.

        • They'd sell the meat if there was a market.

          I had my first meal of seal flippers just a couple of weeks ago. Not my favorite meal, but it was OK.

  3. In fact I would also add that seals' cuteness is a disadvantage for them because anyone who defends them is automatically portrayed as some sort of a sissy or bimbo. Everyone defending the seal hunt thinks it's cool to do so because they see themselves as not being influenced by the cuteness, they wear their pro-seal hunt stance as some sort of badge of intelligence and coolness LOL. If you don't believe me, take a survey of your friends and family and see how many more people are more comfortable about speaking out against the coyote cull as opposed to the seal torture/slaughter. It's cool to be against the coyote cull, whereas it's airheads who speak out against the seal kill, as popular culture would have it. A double standard of pure idiocy, especially since behavioural biologists refer to seals as sea dogs, owing to their similarity to dogs as far as personality and behavioural traits. Would you want a less than 1 year old puppy to be skinned alive, out of respect for someone's "culture"?

    • "Skinned alive"? Wow; you've really swallowed the anti-sealing propaganda hook, line & sinker, haven't you? The only sealers who would do that are the same ones who WOULD do it to a puppy – they are just sick individuals, and not at all representative of the sealing industry as a whole – any more than food processing employees who tamper with products represent the rest of that workforce.

      There have been instances of post-mortem twitches as a seal is being skinned; it's no different than a chicken running around after its head has been chopped off.

      You lose a lot of credibility when you drag out that old myth as "evidence" to back up your claim.

      • Actually the twitching is good because that at least is an unconscious response. Most of them are absolutely too terrified to even move as they are skinned to death without any exsanguination (hanging of the body to ensure all the blood is drained) beforehand to make sure they are dead before they are skinned.