Seal product ban approved by EU
In May the European Union passed a bill to ban the import of seal products by a vote of 550-49. Today this bill has been approved by the EU member states, a move that the Canadian government said would be an unfair trade restriction.
This ban effectively put 6000 people out of a job, including remote northern inuit communities.
The bill was approved without debate in a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers.
Denmark and Romania abstained from voting on the ban, while Austria also abstained because it wanted stricter restrictions.
The ban applies to all products derived from seal, including fur, meat, oil blubber and even omega-3 pills made from seal oil.
The current ban exempts products derived from traditional seal hunts carried out by Inuits in Canada, Russia, Greenland and Alaska.
Another exemption would be to allow small scale seal hunts to allow management of populations. The products derived from those hunts would not be allowed to enter the EU.
Yesterday Canada made a last minute appeal to the 27 member states of the EU to reconsider this decision. Canada, in all likelihood, will appeal this decision with the WTO as an unfair trade restriction.
It is interesting to note that the EU recognizes that the seal population need to be managed.
The European Union has approved a ban on the import of seal products, a move that the Canadian government has said would be an unfair trade restriction.
The ban was approved without debate at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.
Demark and Romania abstained from backing the measure, which Ottawa has protested as an unfair trade restriction. Austria also abstained because it wants a stricter ban.
The restrictions would apply to all products and processed goods derived from seals, including fur, meat, oil blubber and even omega-3 pills made from seal oil. But the current ban exempts products from traditional hunts carried out by Inuit in Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Russia.
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Perth, Western Australia, Australia