The fight against seal slaughter has been taken to the heart of Europe. Anti-seal-hunt demonstrators converged on the EU headquarters demanding a total ban on seal products from Canada and elsewhere. Horrific images of baby seals being shot or clubbed to death always accompany the annual cull. The Canadian authorities insist they are simply keeping numbers down, but their quota of seals to cull was increased to more than a quarter of a million this year.
Russia, Namibia, Finland and Greenland also have a seal trade. Belgium, the Netherlands, Croatia and Slovenia have already banned the import of seal skins. Germany and Italy are preparing to follow suit.
The European Commission will propose strong measures against inhumane killing later this month. But animal welfare organisations say there is no such thing.