HL Deb 01 April 1981 vol 419 c296WA
Lord Houghton of Sowerby

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the latest evidence of the cruelty to seals in the animal slaughter operations in Canada, mainly for the export of sealskins to Europe, a British initiative will be made to secure the complete ban of imports of seal products into EEC countries.

Lord Trefgarne

No. I share the concern felt by the noble Lord about recent reports of unlicensed killing of seals on Prince Edward Island, but understand that the hunt was stopped very quickly by the Canadian authorities and a large number of arrests were made.

The Government do not consider that a ban on imports of goods made from sealskin would be justified. However, action has been taken under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 requiring all such products offered for sale in the United Kingdom to indicate that they are made from sealskin and where the skins come from. These requirements, which apply to all goods imported into or made in the United Kingdom from 1st January, 1981 have been welcomed by the RSPCA.