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Animal Welfare aspects of the killing and skinning of seals - Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare
No abstract available
In September 2006, the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on seal hunting inviting member and observer states to ban all cruel seal hunting methods and to prohibit the stunning of animals with instruments such as hakapiks, bludgeons and guns. A written declaration was then adopted by the European Parliament requesting the Commission to draft a regulation to ban the import, export and sale of all harp and hooded seal products, whilst ensuring that this measure would not have an impact on traditional hunting (e.g. Inuit). The Commission undertook to make an assessment of the animal welfare aspects of the killing and skinning of seals and asked EFSA to issue a scientific opinion on this matter as well as to assess the most appropriate killing methods which reduce unnecessary pain, distress and suffering.
EFSA’s Scientific Opinion was adopted by the Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) on 6 December 2007. The Opinion critically evaluated the available evidence but little robust information was found that could be considered scientifically valid, robust and objective, and that had not been obtained without some form of bias, or there was a lack of independent verification. Nevertheless, it was possible to look objectively at the different methods used, their inherent advantages and disadvantages, their use in practice, and to draw some conclusions and recommendations. Ethical, social, cultural, economic and some relevant management aspects do not form part of this opinion (as they are outside EFSA’s remit).
seal welfare, stunning, killing, bleeding, skinning, seal hunting, consciousness, unconsciousness.