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August 20, 2010

Litigant in EU Seal Product Trade Ban Case is Main Buyer of Seal Skins at 2010 Commercial Seal Hunt

EU ban on seal product trade is in effect

The European Commission confirmed that a ban on seal product trade went into effect Aug. 20 in the European Union, despite a limited suspension pertaining to litigants involved in a case before the European Court of Justice. While Canadian media reports have suggested that the case has been brought by Inuit groups, in reality the litigants include many non-Inuit commercial sealing enterprises, including the top two buyers of seal fur from the commercial seal hunt in Canada, NuTan Furs, Inc. and GC Rieber Skinn (parent company of Carino Co. Ltd.).

"According to a representative of the Canadian government, NuTan Furs, Inc. was the only company buying seal skins in Newfoundland this year," said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. "In ordering those skins, NuTan, in a sense, commissioned the cruelty we documented at the 2010 seal slaughter. We recorded hundreds of violations of Canadian law and the conditions of sealing licenses, including wounded seals left to suffer in agony for extended periods of time, sealers failing to check for unconsciousness prior to skinning seals, and sealers failing to bleed out seals as soon as possible after clubbing or shooting. The cruelty I witnessed this year was some of the worst I have in the twelve years I have observed Canada's commercial seal slaughter."

New, shocking footage of animal suffering released Thursday by Humane Society International shows in detail the suffering of the seals killed to produce the furs for NuTan Furs, Inc.

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Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International — one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than eleven million members and constituents globally — on the web at hsicanada.ca. 

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