Fisheries Minister Hearn says he’s ‘disappointed’ with U.K. push for seal ban

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. (CP) — The British government’s push for a European Union ban on importing seal products is discouraging and irresponsible, Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn said Thursday.

“I am disappointed with the statement released today in the British House of Commons which reinforces inaccurate information concerning Canada’s seal hunt,” Hearn said.

“Parliamentarians from the U.K. have received abundant information from Canadian officials that prove the hunt is conducted in a humane manner. . . ”

British Foreign Office Minister Ian McCartney said Thursday the government is deeply concerned about the reported cruelty during the annual seal hunt.

The British government “has undertaken a review of policy on this issue and has concluded that the U.K. should press the European Commission to propose EU-wide measures to ban the import of listed harp- and hooded-seal products,” McCartney said.

Animal rights groups praised the British government. “This move sends a strong message to the Canadian government that the cruelty of the seal hunt won’t be tolerated,” Robbie Marsland, U.K. director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said in a statement.

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