The Swiss government decided that it isn’t fooling around about the import of seal products into Switzerland. Beginning April 1, 2017, imports of most seal products will be banned; aligning with the rules already set in place by the European Union.
This includes the products such as meat, oil, blubber, organs, furs and skins, as well as any other articles made from them.
By enacting the ban, the federal council is implementing a motion that was first introduced to parliament in 2011 by Swiss People’s Party parliamentarian Oskar Freysinger. At the time, the ‘Import ban on seal products’ was approved by the House of Representatives but denied by the Senate.
Switzerland is the latest country to join the EU, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Taiwan, Mexico and the USA in restricting the import and trade on products generated from the annual Canadian commercial seal hunt that is scheduled to begin later this month.
Yet according to swissinfo.ch (SWI), the government released a statement indicating that the Swiss imports of seal products are “already minimal” and therefore it is not believed that the new ruling will have any significant effect.
Exceptions to the ban include items from hunts that are traditionally conducted by Inuit or other indigenous communities. Travelers will also be able to continue to import seal products for personal use. Also, allowed, import of seal products for exhibitions or for research purposes.
Per the international fund for animal welfare (IFAW), up to 400,000 harp seals, including innocent pups between three weeks old and three months old, are expected to be savagely clubbed, shot, and murdered for their blubber and fur during this year’s annual Canadian seal hunt which is taking place later this month.
Making the barbaric situation even more difficult to swallow, is the fact, as revealed by the IFAW, that “according to government statistics, over 92 percent of the meat from this ‘hunt’ is wasted.”
Seal hunting is rapidly declining due to shrinking ice, markets and subsidies. As proof of this, IFAW points to last year’s Canadian hunt which resulted in the killing of 66,504 seals; valued at $1.6 million Canadian dollars; a significant drop from $34.3 million that was generated in 2006 during the peak of the industry.
Tragically, an estimated 900,000 seals are killed by humans every year.
Source: IFAW, SWI
Photo Credits: Huffington Post, HSI, Speak Up For The Animals,
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