by Malcolm Curtis|The Local, Switzerland|February 14, 2013
Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson is wading into a debate set to kick off in Geneva over Canada’s bid to overturn a European Union ban on seal-fur imports.
The World Trade Organization, based in the Swiss city, is set to begin public hearings into the issue on Monday just ahead of the annual spring hunt of seals in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.
Anderson, a Canadian citizen and honorary director of PETA, the animal rights group, fired off a letter on Wednesday to the WTO’s legal affairs department calling on the body to uphold the seal-fur ban.
“As a proud Canadian, I’m saddened that Canada is trying to use the WTO to delay the inevitable demise of the cruel commercial seal trade by challenging the EU’s ban on seal-fur imports,” Anderson says in her letter, released by PETA.
The 45-year-old TV and movie actress pointed out that the US, Mexico and Taiwan, as well as Russia — which was importing 95 percent of Canadian seal pelts — “have all banned seal fur and will not tolerate this annual slaughter.”
The harvest of seals as “inherently cruel,” she said.
“Sealers shoot and bash in the heads of helpless seals when they are just weeks old.”
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian department regulating the seal hunt, has approved a method of killing the seals, endorsed by veterinary experts, that it says ensures the animals die humanely.
However, this conclusion has been disputed by other scientists.
The seal harvest has long been defended as a way of life for fishermen in Canada’s poorest province.