Seal products are now banned in the European Union. Walruses and sea lions are included in this, set to take effect within weeks.
The European Parliament voted to ban seal imports. This means EU states must impose effective penalities for breaching the ban. An internal market committee member in the parliament said: “This is what the citizens of Europe want”. International Humane Society official Mark Glover said: “Today’s vote is truly historic. I was here in 1983 when the first part of the ban went through. So this was unifinished business. For many people, the seal hunt is even bigger today than it was back then. And in term of animal welfare campaigning and what it means for animals, this is absolutely historic.” EU lawmakers dismissed major seal exporters’ objections and said the ban could withstand any challenge at the World Trade Organisation. There is an exemption for seal products from hunts conducted by indigenous communities.