There is good news for campaigners on the proposed EU ban on the import on seal products from Canada. The EU's Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas has just announced to EU ministers that legislation for a trade ban on all seal products from Canada will come into force in a matter of weeks.
The Canadian slaughter of over 350.000 baby harp seals takes place each year around March/April off the east coast of Canada in Newfoundland. The 'hunt' has been widely condemned around the world, but the Canadian government is ademend in its continued support. The new announcement is seen as a big victory for campaigners.
Previous feature: Armed Canadian Coast Guard Storms Conservation Vessel
On the newswire: Sea Shepherd Moves In On Canadian Seal Slaughter | Seal Slaughter: contacts to protest | Canadian Seal Hunt: New attack by Brigitte Bardot and Franz Weber | Stop Canada's Seal Hunt | Biggest Seal Hunt in 50 Years Draws Protest | Stop Seal Hunt - Hunters Allowed To Kill 350,000 Young Seals This Year
One of the organisations who opposed to the seal hunt this year was the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. It has been documenting the Canadian seal hunt since the middle of March. But as usual Sea Shepherd campaigns don't go unnoticed or without incident. On the 30th March, the Coast Guard rammed the Sea Shepherd ship twice, in an attempt to keep it away from the seal hunt. On 5th April, the ship was attacked by a mob of 30-40 angry seal hunters while anchored in the French island of St. Pierre. The crew of the Sea Shepherd ship 'the Farley Mowat' had been documenting violations of the humane regulations and gathering proof that seals are still being killed in an inhumane manner. The Canadian goverment had been actively lobbying the EU to show that the hunt has become 'humane and sustainable'.
The Farley Mowat was finally attacked by armed officers from the Canadian Coast Guard on 12th April. The 1st officer and the captain of the ship were arrested to be brought before a court in Canada charged with offences related to coming too close to the seal hunt. One woman allegedly sustained a head injury when was roughed up and received a blow to the head by an officer. The ship was impounded and is currently still being held by the Canadian authorities.