Public moral concerns warrant EU seal product import ban, rules WTO

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:


BRUSSELS––The World Trade Organization on November 25, 2013
upheld most of the 2009 European Union ban on the import of seal
products, overturning the ban only when applied to “seal products
derived from hunts conducted by Inuit or indigenous communities and
hunts conducted for marine resource management purposes.”
The WTO ruling allows governments permitting seal hunts the
opportunity to redefine commercially motivated massacres as “marine
resource management,” but those governments would then have to
demonstrate a need for such management that would be persuasive to
international regulators.

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South African National SPCA fights crocodile farming

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2013:

PONGOLA,  KZN,  South Africa––Fined the equivalent of $33,000 U.S. dollars by the South African Department of Agriculture & Environment for housing crocodiles in single pens shorter than the length of their bodies,  Metroc Broedery owner Coen Labuscagne of Pongola,  KwaZulu-Natal,  “nevertheless has applied for permission to expand his operation to incarcerate 1,500 crocodiles,”  South African National SPCA information officer Chris Kuch e-mailed to media on January 17,  2013.  Read more

Anti-fur legislation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2013:

If you’re wondering what this “waste pile” is made of, the answer is simple: the carcasses of the animals who died so that humans could take their skins for money. This photo comes from a Russian fur farm but the horrors are the same in all latitudes. —P. Greanville [Photo redacted]

TAIPEI,  DEN HAGUE––Taiwan on January 8,  2013 became the first Asian nation to ban the import of seal pelts and products,  by amendment to the national Wildlife Conservation Act,  while the Dutch senate on December 18,  2012 ratified a ban on mink farming,  to take effect in 2024.  Both measures undercut fur trade hopes of economic recovery.  

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No sign of comeback in new fur trade data

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2012:


ROME, OTTAWA, BEIJING– Furriers and sealers have again
pinned their hopes of an industry revival to trends in China, but
actual Chinese sales data and the rapid rise of animal advocacy in
China suggest they will be disappointed.
The International Fur Trade Fede-ration opened the 2012-2013
winter “fur season” by claiming record global retail fur sales, but
offered data showing a continuing decline. The IFTF predicted that
world fur sales would exceed $15 billion in 2012, the same total the
IFTF claimed annually since 2008, up from $9.1 billion in 2000 and
$13 billion in 2005.

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Suspect allegedly planned "hit" on fur wearer "partially to get away" from family

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

    CLEVELAND,  OhioThe Federal Bureau of Investigation on February 21,  2012 arrested Meredith Marie Lowell,  27,  of Cleveland Heights,  Ohio,  for allegedly trying to use a Facebook account accessed from a public library computer to solicit the murder of “someone who is wearing fur.”
According to an affidavit sworn on February 17,  2012 by FBI special agent Ryan M. Taylor,  “On November 4,  2011 the FBI was provided information that a person owning a Facebook page under the name Anne Lowery,”  an alias that Lowell acknowledged using,  “posted a message on Facebook stating that Lowery wanted to hire a hit man to kill someone wearing fur.” Read more

Sealing on thin ice

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:


CAP-AUX-MEULES, Quebec— Seal clubbing and shooting started on March 22,  2012 for Iles-de-la-Madeleine vessels,  five days ahead of schedule,  because ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence were receding so rapidly that Quebec sealers were at risk of finding no seals to kill.
Canadian Fisheries Department area director Vincent Malouin told Canadian Press that only two to five boats from Iles-de-la-Madeleine were expected to hunt seals in 2012. Iles-de-la-Madeleine was allocated a sealing quota of 25,000,  from a total Canadian quota of 400,000,  the same as in 2011,  despite a lack of evident markets for seal pelts since 2010, when the European Union banned seal pelt imports. Read more

Russians will not buy Canadian seal pelts

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2012:

YARMOUTHPORT,  Mass.–“The Customs Union of Belarus,
Kazakhstan,  and the Russian Federation has banned the import and
export of harp seal skins,”  International Fund for Animal Welfare
anti-sealing campaign coordinator Sheryl Fink announced on December
19,  2011.

Not announced by the nations involved,  the ban was described
in “World Trade Association documents unearthed by IFAW,”  said
Friends of Animals Canadian correspondent Dave Shishkoff.
Russian president Vladimir Putin ended Russian sealing in
2009,  but Russia remained the largest buyer of Canadian seal pelts.

Sealing verdict

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2011:

LUXEMBOURG–The European General Court on September 14,  2011 ruled that the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami,  representing Canadian indigenous sealers,  lacks standing to challenge the 2010 European Union ban on imports of seal products.  The Fur Institute of Canada is reportedly pursuing a similar case,  targeting the seal import ban enforcement regulations,  while the Canadian government is appealing the ban to the World Trade Organization.  Read more

Vegan glove makes majors

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2011:


COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.–Pitcher Brian Gordon of the New York
Yankees and the first non-leather baseball glove used in the major
leagues debuted together on June 16, 2011. Gordon’s vegan glove was
hand-crafted from nylon microfiber by Scott Carpenter, 30, of
Cooperstown, New York, whose shop is near the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ten ounces lighter than conventional leather baseball gloves,
the vegan glove meets the strength and safety requirements of Major
League Baseball Inc. Non-leather vinyl baseball and softball gloves
were introduced for recreational play by several makers circa 1990,
but have a notoriously short useful lifespan and are now sold only
for use by children who are just beginning to play ball.
“The quality of synthetics back then was awful compared to
now,” Carpenter told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “I believe the tipping point
for synthetics in professional baseball gloves is now–it wasn’t
plausible earlier.”
Several minor league pro players are also using Carpenter
non-leather gloves.

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