Russia, one of the last remaining markets for fur from the infamous baby harp seal hunt in Canada, is banning the import and export of harp seal skins.
Belarus and Kazakhstan have also joined the ban by the Russian Federation.
According to the Canadian government, Russia has long been the main market for Canadian seal products, which are banned in Europe and the United States. So the new ban will be a major nail in the coffin of the annual seal hunt.
The campaign to end the seal hunt, which involves clubbing baby seals to death on the ice in front of their mothers (harp seals lose their fur when they grow to adulthood) has been led largely by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
“Russia ended its own hunt of harp seals in 2009, after listening to the concerns of the people who felt it was a cruel and unnecessary slaughter,” said Masha Vorontsova, Director of IFAW Russia. “We are extremely pleased that the Russian government has taken the next logical step by banning all trade in harp seal pelts from other countries as well.”
More details on the ban are here.