Inuit bid to overturn EU seal ban fails

"Inuit are disappointed that the EU did not see fit to rule on the merits of this case"

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The European General Court has dismissed a bid by a group that includes Inuit to overturn the 2010 European Union prohibition on trade in seal products.

The decision, issued Wednesday, struck down an appeal by the industry itself, which is separate from an effort by the federal government to seek a rule change from the World Trade Organization.

A separate application by the coalition which questions how the ban would be enforced in Europe, is still before the court.

“Inuit are disappointed that the EU did not see fit to rule on the merits of this case, and have dismissed it, on technical grounds as inadmissible without a hearing. We will continue to review the ruling closely, and will communicate our next steps as to what we intend to do as soon as it is practical. I would also like to point out that we continue to have a second case in front of the court challenging the adequacy of the implementing regulations associated with the ban. We are awaiting judgement in that case,” said Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, in a Sept. 14 statement.

The European Parliament, dismissing Canada’s argument that the hunt is humane, voted by a margin of 550 to 49 to impose its seal ban in May 2009.

Since then, several rounds of trade consultations through the WTO have failed to resolve the dispute.

The Humane Society International, which sent out a news release Sept. 14 applauding the court ruling, said some members of the European Parliament say they’re less likely to ratify the pending Canada-European Union Economic and Trade Agreement — a deal reportedly worth $12 billion annually to Canada’s economy — unless Canada withdraws its WTO challenge.

with files from Postmedia News

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