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Switzerland bans trade of commercial seal products, including furs

London - One day after designer Stella McCartney questioned the fashion industry continued use of leather and fur, as imitation skins "looks so good" they "genuinely pose a question to the industry about why anyone needs to use leather any more" at Paris Fashion Week, comes news of Switzerland's decision to ban the trade of seal products. This includes banning seal furs, for which marine mammals as young as 12 days are primarily slaughtered for.

The decision to prohibit the trade of products from commercial seal hunts in Switzerland comes just one month shy of the start of 2017 Canadian seal hunt, which sees thousands of baby seals violently beat or clubbed to death for their skins and meat. But, as of April 2017, Switzerland will have prohibited all trade in products from non-indigenous seal hunts, which includes seal skins, furs, meat, oil and organs. The move sees the country join the European Union, as well as the USA, Mexico and Croatia in banning the trade of commercial seal products.

"In banning its trade in products of commercial seal slaughters, Switzerland is helping to spare countless defenseless seal pups from unimaginable cruelty," commented Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, who has been witnessed to Canada's cruel commercial seal slaughter for 18 years. "More than 35 nations have already adopted similar legislation, and it is clear that global markets for seal products are closing forever. It is time the Canadian government took steps to phase out the commercial seal hunt and invest in a fair transition program for sealers."

Joanna Swabe, executive director of HSI/Europe, added: "We are delighted that Switzerland has followed in the footsteps of the European Union by banning the cruel products of commercial seal slaughters. Our Swiss neighbours clearly concur that the brutal killing of defenceless young seals for fur - a luxury product - is an affront to public morality. The closure of yet another market should send a strong signal to the commercial sealing industry that its days are numbered." The move comes as animal rights group Humane Society International continues to campaign for the end of Canada's commercial seal hunt, which has contributed to the death of over 2 million seals since 2002.

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