Russia announced a ban on killing all harp seals less than one year old on March 18, 2009, which elminates a major hunting ground for harp seals, and could spare 35,000 seals. There’s no word whether Russia will also eliminate a seal fur market by banning the importation and sale of seal products.

“The bloody seal slaughter, the killing of the defenseless animals, which can’t be even called a ‘hunt,’ is now prohibited in Russia as it is in most developed countries. It is a serious step towards the conservation of biodiversity in Russia,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Yuriy Trutnev.

On April 1, the full European Parliament will vote on a ban of all seal products — a move which the United States adopted almost three decades ago — to eliminate a key trade route to major fur markets like Norway, Russia and China.

The ghastly massacre of seal pups is slated to begin in Canada within days, despite demonstrations inside Canada and a rare move when Senator Mac Harb from Ontario introduced legislation to cancel the pending slaughter. According to a report in The New York Times, Senator Harb “argued that the industry was dying, propped up by public tax dollars and costing Canada international good will. But his proposal died when Mr. Harb could not get another member to second his motion.”

“There was silence. Total silence!” Senator Harb explained. “I was amazed that not one of my colleagues, from, any one of the political parties, would even want to debate the issue.”

Sounds like the uproar inside Canada by Canadians needs to be ramped up with events across the country that direct protests where they’re best aimed — at Canada’s politicians.