ST. JOHN'S, N.L. � The future of Canada's commercial harp seal hunt, a centuries-old industry and way of life for several thousand East Coast fishermen, was thrown into question Wednesday after the European Union proposed a partial ban of seal products.
Countries that "practice cruel hunting methods" would not be allowed to send seal products to the 27-nation bloc under legislation proposed by EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.
"The images of seal hunting that circulate around the globe every year are a reminder of the oftentimes gruesome practices used to kill seals," Dimas told a news conference in Brussels.
"European citizens find this practice is repugnant and in contradiction to our standards of animal welfare."
The proposed ban needs the support of the EU's 27 governments and the European Parliament before it can take effect.