The traditional Scottish sporran could be set to be made out of pony skin from next year now that the use of sealskin is to be banned.

Last week European Parliament voted to ban the manufacture of any product using sealskin from 2010 — with the intention of ending the cull of seals worldwide.

In Canada 300,000 seals are shot or clubbed to death annually.

From next year the manufacturing and sale of sporrans made from sealskins will be illegal.

But the ban could have a major impact on Scottish attire as more than half of sporrans produced in Scotland are made from sealskin.

In the past sporrans have been made from doeskin, calfskin, fox hair and goat hair.

And makers of highland dress say that customers do not want to buy synthetic sporrans.

Malcolm, Scott from Scotland’s largest sporran supplier William Scott and Son said: “Pony skin looks a bit more natural but it doesn’t compare with the quality of a seal.

“We could use more pony skins because the public just aren’t interested in buying the synthetic fabrics.”

Duncan Chisholm, chairman of the Kilt Makers Association of Scotland, told a local paper: “I’m sorry, but I can’t see a nation’s cultural legacy turning to rubble all because of a hairy purse.

“Traditionally, seal has been used for the sporran for the last 100 years. This is going to change that tradition and it really is the end of an era.”