Jude has written to the World Trade Organisation to urge it to uphold a European Union ban on seal fur. The British actor was writing on behalf of animal protection group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The EU banned commercial trade in all seal products in its member states in 2010 amid concerns about the animal welfare aspects of hunting seals. But the ban is being challenged by the Canadian government, and the WTO is holding a hearing to settle the dispute.
I’m writing to urge the panel to uphold this ban, which is in line with the wishes of compassionate people all around the world, including the majority of European citizens. Even local sentiment is turning, and a lack of markets has led Canadian officials to seriously examine whether the slaughter should end.
The purpose of the WTO is to support efficient markets, not government decisions to prop up dying industries like the seal slaughter. Rather than using the WTO to prop up a dying industry, Canada should pursue a buyout of the commercial sealing industry — a move that would help both seals and sealers. The world is watching and waiting — please uphold the EU ban.
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