Greens welcome WTO ruling on EU seal products ban

The Green Party of Canada welcomes the World Trade Organization decision announced today to uphold the European Union’s ban on imported seal products.

The EU first banned seal products from being imported to member countries in 2009. Since then the Canadian government has tirelessly lobbied EU and WTO officials to overturn the ban, trying in vain to portray the Canadian seal hunt as humane. Today’s WTO decision affirms the right of the EU to ban seal products on moral grounds.

“For far too long, the federal government has subsidized this destructive, inhumane and outdated industry,” said Green Party strategist and animal rights lawyer Camille Labchuk. “Today’s ruling is a victory for animal welfare, and a victory for animal rights activists around the world who have worked so hard to bring attention to this issue.”

“Today’s ruling underscores how much time, effort and money is wasted by government after government trying to defend this industry,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “It is in the interests of the Inuit hunt to start the work on establishing that their hunt is within the EU exemption and work on that strategy.”

The Green Party of Canada is in favour of providing funding to communities affected by the seal products ban, in order to support their transition toward more sustainable industries such as eco-tourism.