WTO meets to review EU seal products ban

Feb 18, 2013
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) activists stage a demonstration against seal hunting in front of the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters on February 18, 2013 in Geneva. The World Trade Organisation on Monday held its first hearing on the EU's contested ban against the sale of seal products, a decision opposed by both Norway and Canada.

The World Trade Organisation on Monday held its first hearing on the EU's contested ban against the sale of seal products, a decision opposed by both Norway and Canada.

The two countries, which every year kill tens of thousands of , insist that the hunting method is ethical and asked the WTO to review the 2010 ban, imposed because of what the EU considers cruel hunting methods.

Canada's indigenous Inuits, who have traditionally hunted seal for centuries, are exempt from the ban.

Commercial seal hunters often use a hakapik, a club with a metal spike on it, to stun the seals before killing them. Animal rights groups also say some seals are skinned while they are still conscious.

Canada, home to some 6,000 commercial seal hunters, argued Monday that stricter regulations have made the hunt more humane.

"East Coast seal hunt can be, and is, conducted in a humane fashion," Canada's representative said by video link to the hearing in .

The WTO, which will also hear and the EU in the case, is expected to deliver a decision in a few months.

Ahead of Monday's hearing, the animal rights group PETA staged a protest outside the WTO headquarters.

Explore further: Law of the Sea authorizes animal tagging research without nations' consent

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Canada senate committee endorses seal cull

Oct 23, 2012

Canadian senators on Tuesday endorsed a plan to cull 70,000 grey seals in the southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence in an effort to preserve groundfish stocks.

Camera on Maine island streams gray seal video

Jan 17, 2013

A camera that records seal-pupping activities on a remote Maine island has begun live streaming in what is believed to be the first live camera installed on an East Coast seal-pupping site.

DNA reveals hooded seals have wanderlust

May 09, 2007

Researchers have discovered that hooded seals, a mysterious mammal that spends all but a few days each year in the ocean, are all closely related.

Growing seal population threatens small-scale fishing

May 10, 2011

Seals and the fishing industry compete for fish of all types – no matter whether it is salmon, whitefish, herring or cod. Seal-safe fishing gear is the most sustainable solution, and we need knowledge ...

Recommended for you

How can we help endangered vultures?

Oct 24, 2014

Zoologists from the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin are proposing an ingenious idea to help conserve populations of African white-backed vultures. The iconic birds, which play a critical ...

Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

Oct 24, 2014

Amargosa voles, small rodents that inhabit rare marshes of the Mojave Desert, have faced dire circumstances in recent years. Loss of habitat, extreme drought and climate change brought this subspecies of ...

User comments : 0