VIENNA, AUSTRIA--(CCN Matthews - April 25, 2007) - Late yesterday the
Austrian Parliament voted unanimously in support of a ban on importation,
processing and distribution of seal skins. IFAW (International Fund for
Animal Welfare) has been lobbying for years to achieve national bans in
different countries and is also working for an European Union-wide ban.
Austrian Minister for the Environment, Josef Proll (OVP), stated that he
will also work for a ban on the EU-level. National bans already exist in the
USA, Mexico, Croatia and Belgium.
Despite decades of worldwide protests, the Canadian government has continued
to allow the slaughter of more than a million harp seals in the last three
years. In response many countries are now introducing national bans on seal
products in order to close the markets and send a clear message to Canada.
"The Austrian government has joined a growing chorus in Europe calling for
an end to this cruel hunt by introducing national bans," said IFAW
spokesperson, Sheryl Fink.
"The Canadian government has wasted countless thousands of taxpayer dollars
sending delegations to Europe in support of Canada's commercial seal hunt.
Yet Europeans are listening to the facts and the facts are that this is a
cruel, unsustainable and wasteful hunt which must be stopped, and they want
no part of it."
The quota for this year's hunt has been set at 270,000 harp seals. To date,
at least 195,693 harp seals have been reported killed.