Agence France Presse reports this afternoon that, “A European judge has refused to suspend a ban on the import of seal products in Europe…”
The ban is therefore in effect until the “European Court of Justice decides on the legality of the prohibition.”
“The European ban includes an exemption for seal products derived from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and indigenous communities for subsistence.”
“The European Union’s decision to ban such imports has angered Canada and prompted a legal challenge by Inuit groups from Canada and Greenland.”
“Canada and Norway have asked for consultations at the World Trade Organization in an effort to resolve the dispute.”
“The European Parliament endorsed the ban last year after public outcry over Canada’s annual commercial seal hunt, which animal rights activists denounce as cruel.”
This import ban has been seen as a major irritant by both Brussels and Ottawa in the ongoing Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement talks.