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Ban on seal oil sought

Animal rights advocacy groups are demanding a government ban on the importation and retail of seal oil in the country of Taiwan in efforts to provide protection for the helpless marine animal. Humane Society International Canada chapter Executive Director Rebecca Aldworth noted at a Taipei press meeting that the US, Mexico, Croatia and the European Union have done their part in banning oil seal importation. Their demands have been made in time for Canada’s yearly seal hunting tradition, which is set to begin in four months’ time.

Taiwan’s Environment and Animal Society has successfully launched a boycott in April this year, forcing major retail outlets to remove seal and sea lion products from their shelves. Online retailers however are unfazed and still offer such products on their online retail stores. Currently, Taiwan remains fourth on the global list of the largest sea markets in the world. Over a period of merely 6 years, the Asian country imported more than 431,000 kilos of seal oil. That required as many as 120,000 seals to be killed for their oil products.

One official from Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture was quoted by the Central News Agency to have said that around 160,000 individuals personally signed the EAST-backed petition that demands a ban on oil seal products being imported and sold in the country. The official added that once the petition was filed in their office, there will be considerations made. Any and all trade policy decisions surrounding seal oil will be relayed over to the Bureau of Foreign Trade for implementation.