SEALS WIN AT THE WTO!
The decision is finally in. The WTO has ruled that the European Union's ban on seal product imports may stand!
We have awaited this ruling for months after the spring hearings in which Canada, Norway, and Namibia presented their case to the WTO, claiming that the European Union's ban on imports of skins, oil, and other products obtained from brutally killed seals and seal pups was an unfair barrier to international trade.
Here is AP's brief article on the subject:
WTO Allows EU's 'Moral' Ban on Seal Products
BERLIN November 25, 2013 (AP) The World Trade Organization has ruled that the European Union can ban the import and sale of seal products for "moral" reasons.
Canada and Norway had challenged the ban on the grounds that it was inconsistent. It grants exceptions to support indigenous Arctic communities that export limited amounts of seal products and to protect fisheries' nets and their catch.
Canada and Norway claim such exceptions discriminate against them.
A WTO panel decision published Monday found that the exceptions do flout international free trade rules. But it concluded that if the EU applies the exceptions consistently, then a ban designed to address "public moral concerns" is permitted.
Animal rights groups have long protested the mass clubbing of seals for fur and other products, saying it is inhumane.
Canada said it will appeal the WTO ruling.