Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Seal of approval?

On Monday the European Parliament took another step towards putting an end to the cruel and vile seal hunt when the Internal Market Committee voted to amend a legislative proposal for a ban on seal products imported and sold on the EU market. I have been working closely on this issue, together with my colleagues Arlene McCarthy and David Martin to ensure that the legislation really does its job of protecting seals from being clubbed to death, and ensuring that it is not full of derogations which can be used as loopholes.

I had been contacted by many constituents in the East Midlands asking me to amend the proposal to ensure a tough ban on the cruel trade in seal products and I believe the committee's vote has done this. I have also been working closely on this with a constituent and friend of mine, Mark Glover, who has been working tirelessly on this campaign for the Nottingham based NGO 'Respect for animals'.

I suspect that my fellow East Midlands MEP, Tory Roger Helmer will not be overly impressed. I still remember his reply when a Lincolnshire schoolgirl wrote to him asking him to stop the killing of innocent baby seals. As detailed in Phil Dilk's blog, he told her that she was wrong to care about dumb animals. I might be sticking my neck out but I would hazard a guess that this particular legislation will not be getting his seal of approval!

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