Following the World Trade Organization’s decision to formally hear Norway’s and Canada’s case against the European Union’s ban on seal product imports, rock icon Joan Jett has personally delivered an urgent letter on PETA's behalf to Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre calling on Norway to make the hearing and submissions open to the public.
Just one company in Norway purchases close to 80 percent of Canadian seal pelts, and this company has received funding for years from the Norwegian government. Jett joins Canadians Pamela Anderson and Sarah McLachlan in requesting that the hearing and submissions be made public.
“In the wake of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) decision to formally hear Norway and Canada’s case against the E.U.’s ban on seal imports, I urge you to please open up hearings to the public and make all submissions publicly available when they are filed,” writes Joan Jett. "Norway buys most seal pelts from Canada, then ships them for sale in countries that aren’t aware of the cruelty. Just one Norwegian company purchases close to 80 percent of the pelts. Norwegian citizens deserve to know that their government has provided significant financial assistance to this company for years, which indirectly helps prop up Canada’s cruel baby-seal slaughter. For a country so compassionate that it would ban fur from fashion shows, supporting Canada’s seal massacre just seems ridiculous.
"Most people are horrified to learn that seals in Canada are bludgeoned and even skinned alive for their fur. Norwegians and kind people everywhere have the opportunity to weigh in on this issue by submitting comments to the WTO panel deciding the case, and I hope that they will join me in demanding that the government not allow Norway to be a partner in the largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals on the planet, which has been condemned by world leaders such as President Barack Obama, Vladamir Putin, and the Dalai Lama. The Canadian government is hiding behind its native people, even though Inuit hunting accounts for only 3 percent of the seals slaughtered and the E.U. ban has an exception for indigenous people’s hunting, which protects such small-scale traditional practices. If Norway has nothing to hide, why not make the process public?
“I—and my friends at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and NOAH—hope to hear that you will do the right thing here. Thanks for your time and consideration.”
Jett was due to present the letter earlier today, Monday June 6.