Activists everywhere are cautiously applauding reports that Canada’s annual seal slaughter is one step closer to the grave with the announcement that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan won’t import seal skins from Canada.


While the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) may be muttering “reports of the end of the seal hunt have been greatly exaggerated”, it appears one of the final two big purchasers of seal corpses – Russia – has now halted the sale of seal fur. Russian President Vladimir Putin banned Russia’s seal slaughter in 2009, after feeling disgusted by the carnage.

Friends of Animals initiated a letter-writing campaign to Russia urging them to help prevent the massacre of seals elsewhere by banning imports.

Now, we’re hopeful Russia, as well as Belarus and Kazakhstan, have indeed banned the import of seal skins, according to WTO documents unearthed by IFAW.

With Russia’s seal fur market eliminated, there’s increased pressure to press China to end seal skin imports.

Seal kill numbers in Canada have plummeted in the last few years, from 205,000 seals killed in 2008, to 68,000 in 2010, and 38,000 in 2011. The bottom had already fallen out of the market with the European seal fur ban in 2009, and we’re hopeful that in 2012 seals won’t face another assault since DFO typically falls back on stale arguments that seals should perish to protect Canda’s fish-killing industry. Old habits die hard, and Canada is wedded to its fur industry. Friends of Animals will agitate against seal-killing until seals can birth and live in peace on the Atlantic ice floes off Canada’s East Coast.

For more, check out this article from the Globe & Mail: Russian ban ‘spells the end of Canadian sealing,’ activists say