Human society applauds new trade ban in Canadian seal products
The Humane Society commended Taiwan for passing a landmark ban on trade in marine mammal products, including Canadian seal products and skins, but exempting products of traditional indigenous hunts.
The Taiwanese Legislative Yuan passed the legislation with unanimous support following a multi-year campaign by Taiwanese animal protection group East in collaboration with the Society.
“The compassionate actions of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan will save countless seals and other marine mammals from a horrible fate,” says Society Executive Director Rebecca Aldworth. “The momentum to end trade in marine mammal products is growing and the sealing industry’s days are numbered.”
“Instead of providing more pointless subsidies to artificially prop up this shameful practice, Canada should prohibit the slaughter and invest in a transition program for sealers,” adds Aldworth.
“Citizens of Taiwan care deeply about animal welfare, and we do not want to trade in products of cruelty that the rest of the world has rejected,” says East Executive Director Wu Hung. “I am very proud of the leadership Taiwan has shown in banning trade in marine mammal products.”
“I hope that many other nations will follow suit, and that the Canadian government will finally do as the majority of Canadians and people around the world want and end the seal hunt for good,” shares Wu.
“Between 2003 and 2009, Taiwan imported 430,000 kilograms of seal oil, which made us the 4th largest importer of seal oil in the world,” says Yuan Legislator Lin in Taiwan. “Through our trade in seal products, consumers in Taiwan were unintentionally involved in the killing of thousands of innocent seals in Canada.”
“Taiwan’s decision is an important step forward for animal protection and conservation in Asia,” adds Lin.
Canada’s commercial seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth.
Because most Canadians oppose commercial sealing, the products of the seal slaughter are almost entirely exported.
With the United States, European Union and Russia prohibiting trade in seal products, the Canadian sealing industry has sought to develop alternate markets in Asia, sparking protests in mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.
East launched their campaign to secure a Taiwanese ban on seal product trade in 2010, achieving massive public support for the move and convincing many retailers in Taiwan to voluntarily discontinue sales of seal products.
The prohibition on trade in marine mammal products cements Taiwan’s position and ensures that its trade in marine mammal products will never resume.