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ICABS praises Irish MEPs for supporting EU ban on seal products
21 May 2009

ICABS is proud to report that a majority of Ireland's MEPs voted in favour of an EU trade ban on seal products. All of our MEPs, with the exception of Sean O'Neachtain, were among the 550 MEPs who supported the historic ban which is expected to come in to force next year.

We have thanked the Irish MEPs for siding with the seals who are cruelly clubbed, shot and hooked to death by hunters in what has been described as the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world. The hunt sadly continues in Canada but the EU trade ban represents a major blow to those involved.

"This good news comes amid fierce opposition from the Canadian Government who has been sending countless delegations to Europe in order to lobby Ministers and MEPs," stated the Animal Rights Action Network who led an Irish campaign against the seal hunt. "Their campaign has been built on lies and bullying tactics. This news will now mean that once the legislation comes into force, it will be illegal to sell or trade in seal products from countries such as Canada where the cruel commercial seal hunt takes place—thus cutting off a major market for seal skins."

“From Mexico City to Milan and all the way to Moscow, the world is uniting in opposition to commercial seal hunts,” commented Lesley O’Donnell, a director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “The European Parliament has hammered the final nail in the coffin of the sealing industry’s market in the EU. A complete collapse of Canada’s commercial seal hunt may now be inevitable.”

Please scroll down for some quotes from Irish MEPs...

Part of a fax sent by ICABS to all Irish MEPs

Kathy Sinnott, MEP: "I am always grateful to be able to act as a voice to all voiceless people and animals and to support the right to life of the weakest and most vulnerable in our society and our world. I am very concerned about the issue of seal hunting and have signed a Written Declaration demanding the ban of seal products in the European Union. In addition I have sent a Written Question to the Commission on this issue."

Liam Aylward, MEP: "By an overwhelming majority we voted to take away any commercial gain from the seal hunt. There will be a ban on importing seal products in the Member States and on placing them on the market. There will be a derogation for the placing on the market of seal products where these seal products result from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and which contribute to their subsistence. This derogation was included in recognition of the importance to protect minority communities and to preserve traditional ways of life that are under threat.

"While I believe that this report would have been adopted in any case that there was such a large majority can be attributed in no small way to the action and campaigning under taken by citizens and by interested groups. Such engagement in European policy-making by citizens is extremely welcome and crucially important, and I thank you for your part in this."

Mary Lou McDonald: "In 2006 both Bairbre de Brun and I were happy to sign a written declaration calling for EU action [against the seal hunt]. We would be of course still be happy to support any legislation which reflected this position and will be examining the Commission proposal and Parliament's proposed amendments in light of this position."

Protest against Canadian seal slaughter

The Animal Rights Action Network has organised a protest for Sunday, May 24th 2009. Time: 1pm Sharp - 3pm. Place: GPO, O'Connell Street, Dublin City Centre. Website:

Video: Cruel seal hunting exposed

Seal Slaughter: More information

To learn more about the brutality of Canada's seal slaughter, visit the "Stop The Seal Hunt" website at

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