Date : 05/05/2009
Emplacement : Strasbourg
The European Parliament approved plans to slap a European Union import ban on seal products tuesday, 5 may 2009 a move meant to force an end to Canada's annual seal hunt, which is the world's largest.
The European Union assembly overwhelmengly endorsed a bill which said commercial seal hunting, notably in Canada, is inhuman.
Animal welfare activists rejoiced, saying the vote was a significant step toward ending the Canadian seal hunt.
Canada and Norway, had already warned the EU they would take the 27-country bloc to the World Trade Organization if it moved to ban seal product imports.
The Canadian government maintains that the 350-year-old hunt is crucial for some 6,000 North Atlantic fishermen who rely on it for up to 35 percent of their total annual income.
Canada's Inuit urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to "react firmly and forcefully."
"Inuit are devastated at today's vote," national Inuit leader Mary Simon said in a statement, dismissing an exemption in the legislation for Arctic indigenous peoples' traditional sealing.