Canadian Seal Hunt
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Ian McCartney (Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry; Makerfield, Labour)
The Government are deeply concerned about the reported cruelty during the Canadian seal hunt. They have undertaken a review of policy on this issue and have concluded that the UK should press the European Commission to propose EU-wide measures to ban the import of listed harp and hooded seal products. This would establish a harmonised EU approach.
It is the Government's view that action taken at EU level would be more effective than national measures alone, avoiding distortions in the operation of the single market and allowing for effective enforcement by customs authorities. The UK is committed to pursuing EU action and ensuring that any resulting EU Commission proposal will be effective. We are writing to Commissioner Dimas requesting urgent action.
Meanwhile, the EU proposal for an EU-wide ban on the domestic cat and dog fur trade is under active discussion within the Council of the European Union and European Parliament and we hope to be able to agree this proposal as quickly as possible.