Federation of Veterinarians of Europe
Ban of seal products from the European Market
Ban of seal products from the European Market

The European Parliament (EP) voted on 5 May to ban most seal products from the European market. The vote was immediately followed by a statement of the Commission, saying it welcomes the vote by the EP confirming the first reading agreement reached between Council and Parliament. EC press release.

The European Parliament's ban on commercial trade in seal products will become law if it is adopted by the Council, which is expected to happen in the next months.

The text agreed by the Council and the EP in first reading reflects Europeans' profound attachment to seals as sentient mammals capable of experiencing pain, distress and suffering. While the vote bans most seal products from the European market, an exemption is allowed for indigenous communities. The legislators exempted those seal products resulting from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and which contribute to their subsistence. These products may still be imported and marketed in European Union countries.

The world's largest seal hunt is conducted every spring off the east coast of Canada. The government of Canada today expressed its "deep disappointment, concern and opposition" to the vote by the European Parliament "to move towards a ban on products from Canada's humane and sustainable seal hunt."