Earlier this week, the EU passed legislation banning the trade of seal products within the Union. The bill passed by a landslide 550 votes in favor to 49 against. The ban will go into effect before the next seal hunt, but it exempts Inuit seal products that are “for subsistence or traditional purposes” and includes exemptions for “sustainable management of marine resources” allowing skins to be traded on a not-for-profit basis.

Naturally, the Canadian government plans to oppose the ban. Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans blames the ban on “special interest groups who have misled the European public with an aggressive public relations campaign over the past few years.”

Others are calling for a boycott of the 2010 Olympics in Canada as a protest against the brutal and barbaric annual hunt. Canada claims that the hunters haven’t killed a baby seal in over 20 years. Indeed, “registered hunters in Canada are forbidden from killing seal pups that haven’t moulted their downy white fur, which typically happens when they are 10 to 21 days old.” So, what Canada really means is that they haven’t killed a seal less than 10 days old in 20 years. That’s supposed to inspire sympathy and understanding? They also say that seals are no longer skinned alive. The Telegraph reports, “New rules implemented last year are meant to ensure that seals are dead before they are skinned.” So, seals haven’t been legally skinned alive since last year.

Canada, you’re not doing much for your image by supporting this disgusting practice. The backlash against the seal hunt has been going on for long enough that your hunters could and should have transitioned to new livelihoods. Personally, I’m in support of a ban on the Olympics (my apologies to the athletes) because economic sanctions seem to be the only thing Canada cares about.

Seal products banned in Europe – Telegraph.

CTV Toronto – Canada will challenge new European seal ban.

Why Boycott the 2010 Winter Olympics? – Care2 News Network.

Canada’s controversial seal hunt starts – Telegraph (graphic photos).