Joan Jett petitions Norway to make seal import hearings public

Joan Jett is in Europe right now to play a few dates, starting tonight in Oslo, Norway. Yesterday, she delivered a letter on PETA’s behalf to Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre concerning Norway’s objections to the European Union’s ban on seal imports from Canada.

Animal rights activists are trying to end Canada’s barbaric seal-slaughtering practices, and they want the E.U.’s import bans to remain in force. The World Trade Organization has decided to grant a hearing for Canada and Norway to plead their case, and Joan’s letter urges the Norwegian government to make the hearings open to the public. People deserve to know where the goods they buy really come from. Here is Joan’s letter, from

Dear Mr. Gahr Støre,

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.

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.


Joan Jett

Click HERE for a news video from Norway covering Joan’s presentation of the letter, which includes an interview with Joan.

Visit for more information about the seal slaughter and ways you can help.