GOOD NEWS: European Union Court of Justice rejects challenge to Seal Ban

Canadian sealers on the ice using hakapiks to club a harp seal to death.We awoke to good news this morning as we learned that the EU’s highest court has rejected an appeal  by the Canadian and Norwegian sealing industries in its decision on Case C-583-11.

This appeal was yet another attempt to overturn the EU seal products regulation. The decision of the European Court of Justice is not surprising, and follows the original ruling by the European General Court and the opinion of the Advocate General earlier this year.

VIDEO: Geneva update on Canada’s WTO challenge to the EU seal import ban

These ongoing attempts by the sealing industry - including the Fur Institute of Canada, Rieber Skinn, and the Canadian Seal Marketing Group - are funded, at least partially, by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador where the commercial sealing industry is in decline. So far, all of the sealing industry’s attempts to overturn, delay or block the EU seal tra­­de regulation have ultimately failed.

Although Inuit groups were also involved in the appeal, the EU seal regulation includes an exception which allows for trade in products coming from hunting by Inuit and other indigenous communities to sustain their traditional lifestyles. 

The next stage in the defence of the EU Seal products regulation is ongoing at the World Trade Organisation.  A panel is expected to rule in late November or December on whether the EU regulation on seal products violates international trade obligations.  IFAW is following this case closely so stay tuned for updates!

-- SF

For more information about our efforts to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt, visit our campaign page. 

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