The California-based UBF Group Inc. is facing multiple criminal charges after an investigation by the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration discovered that the husband and wife-run company was importing and selling seal oil products in the United States—a violation of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act, which was enacted in 1972. The NOAA’s investigation and swift action was praised by animal-welfare advocates, who hope that the bust will discourage individuals from attempting to profit off of seals products in the future. “We are grateful that NOAA treated this matter seriously and that the US Attorney’s Office has laid these charges against the accused,” said Humane Society International executive director Rebecca Aldworth. “This case should serve as a warning to other companies that that smuggling seal products into the United States, or any other region that has prohibited seal product trade, is a major offense that carries significant penalties.”
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