India has finally taken a stand against this cruelty, becoming the 37th nation to pass the ban.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade Mr Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi in a recent notification has said that the import of seal skin, in any form, is prohibited.
However, the fight to end the commercial seal hunt is still far from over.
Seal hunting is a mass slaughter in which 98% of the seals killed are defenseless pups less than three months old – the skins of young pups are more valuable.
The next step is to urge Canada to end federal subsidies of the commercial seal slaughter. The Newfoundland government is providing a multimillion-dollar bailout to commercial seal processors in an attempt to support the sealing industry. Canadian sealers are also calling for an increase in the hunt this year and a potential cull. Moreover, the Canadian Sealers Association is lobbying the Canadian government to lift a decade-long freeze on issuing new commercial sealing licenses so the association can recruit and train a whole new generation of seal slaughterers.
Seals are facing pressures from climate change too. The stable sea ice platform baby seals need for nursing is melting, due to warmer waters and increased storm activities, increasing seal mortality.
No one wants products from dead seals. The time has come, to end Canada’s commercial seal hunt.
India’s decision follows exhaustive campaigning for the ban by OIPA India represented by Mr Naresh Kadyan, asking the Indian government to take a clear moral stand by closing its doors to the trade of seal products.
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