MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 8, 2013) - Humane Society International/Canada commends Taiwan for passing a landmark ban on trade in marine mammal products, including seal skins, but exempting products of traditional indigenous hunts. The Taiwanese Legislative Yuan passed the legislation with unanimous support following a multi-year campaign by Taiwanese animal protection group EAST in collaboration with HSI.
"The compassionate actions of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan will save countless seals and other marine mammals from a horrible fate," said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI Canada. "The momentum to end trade in marine mammal products is growing and the sealing industry's days are numbered. Instead of providing more pointless subsidies to artificially prop up this shameful practice, Canada should prohibit the slaughter and invest in a transition program for sealers."
"Citizens of Taiwan care deeply about animal welfare, and we do not want to trade in products of cruelty that the rest of the world has rejected," said Wu Hung, executive director of EAST. "I am very proud of the leadership Taiwan has shown in banning trade in marine mammal products. I hope that many other nations will follow suit, and that the Canadian government will finally do as the majority of Canadians and people around the world want and end the seal hunt for good."
"Between 2003 and 2009, Taiwan imported 430,000 kilograms of seal oil, which made us the 4th largest importer of seal oil in the world. Through our trade in seal products, consumers in Taiwan were unintentionally involved in the killing of thousands of innocent seals in Canada," said Legislator Lin of the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan. "Taiwan's decision is an important step forward for animal protection and conservation in Asia."