Victory! India Bans Seal Fur

As Canada begins its annual cruel seal hunt, India just offered the species a glimmer of hope with the news that it will ban the import of seal skins and fur.

Animal advocates from around the world have been working for decades to shut down Canada’s commercial seal hunt, where young seals are shot or bludgeoned to death on the ice floes every year during what has become the largest slaughter of marine mammals on earth.

Despite ongoing pressure to end it, the government has continued to prop this dying industry up and create new markets for its seal products in nations that still allow imports, but now India won’t be one of them.

According to the Humane Society International (HSI), which has been campaigning for seals for years with People for Animals in an effort to get India’s government to take a “moral stand” on this issue, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has banned the import of seal skins.

Victory! After years of exhaustive campaigning by Humane Society International – India and People for Animals, a…

Posted by Humane Society International on Wednesday, April 4, 2018

“We are delighted that our appeal to the Government of India to take a stand against this cruelty has produced a result after 4 long years. With dwindling world markets for seal products, the Canadian sealing industry is counting on countries like India and China to import the seal fur, oil and meat that other nations refuse to buy and I am glad that India has chosen compassion over cruelty. We are certain that this choice will be the last nail in the coffin for the sealing industry,” said N.G. Jayasimha, managing director of HSI/India.

India now joins more than three dozen other countries that have banned the trade in seal skins and other products, including the U.S., Mexico, Russia, Taiwan and 28 member nations of the European Union. Even when bans were challenged, they were twice upheld by the World Trade Organization, which affirmed countries’ rights to ban products that people believe are cruel or unsustainable.

While this is a major victory, the fight to end the commercial seal hunt is still far from over. Despite dwindling markets and declining prices for pelts, this week the Canadian Sealers Association called for an increase in the hunt this year, increased licenses and potential cull.

Hopefully none of that will happen. Not only because this industry is inherently cruel, but because seals are now facing additional pressure from climate change. Seals are ice-dependent, and they need enough of it to give birth, nurse and care for their young, but they’re losing it, and the problem is only expected to get worse as waters warm.

With one less major potential market and continued public pressure, the government is going to have to soon accept that this industry is dying, and begin working to transition sealers into other lines of work, instead of continuing to waste time and money subsidizing it.

For more on how to help end the hunt, check out Humane Society International.

Photo credit: thinkstock

230 comments

Marie W
Marie W23 days ago

Thank you.

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Ann B
Ann B4 months ago

fur belongs on the animal that grew it@!!!!!!!

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Danuta W
Danuta W4 months ago

In Poland, she told the deputy. Seals are a pest, it's best to kill them. In the marine mammals' rescue center, a seal was saved that was 4 days old. Seal was saved in April, three days ago she was murdered on the beach. People kill seals and nothing changes. They are murdered with a stone, wrapped with a rope thrown into the sea by the Baltic Sea.

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Peggy B
Peggy B5 months ago

Noted

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KimJ M
KimJ M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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KimJ M
KimJ M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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KimJ M
KimJ M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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KimJ M
KimJ M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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KimJ M
KimJ M5 months ago

Yay!! Thanks for sharing.

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joan s
joan silaco5 months ago

TYFS

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