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Judy Mallaber: Does my hon. Friend accept that the civil servants and lawyers will keep on at him, telling him that there are legal arguments why he cannot do it, and that at some time we must grasp the nettle, go ahead and do it? They will argue him into the ground; that is what will happen.

Ian Pearson: Let me respond directly to my hon. Friend by giving her my commitment that I will talk to civil servants about the legal opinion and that I am very happy to have meetings with her and NGOs on the issue, and fully to explore it and see what can be done.

The Government take every appropriate opportunity to remind the Canadians of our opposition to the hunt. I assure the House that we will continue to review the options for tighter restrictions or a ban on trade in seal products in the light of the legal opinion and issues of sustainability, conservation and animal welfare.

The motion having been made after Ten o'clock, and the debate having continued for half an hour, Madam Deputy Speaker adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

14 Feb 2006 : Column 1401

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