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WTO rejects Canada, Norway appeal against EU seal import ban

Published on May 23, 2014 7:05 AM
 
Demonstrators stage a mock clubbing of a seal during a Peta protest against harp seal hunting in Canada outside the Canadian consulate in Los Angeles, California on March 31, 2014. The WTO on Thursday upheld a European Union ban on imports of seal products, rejecting an appeal by Canada and Norway, in a landmark ruling that said animal welfare can trump trade. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (AFP) - The WTO on Thursday upheld a European Union ban on imports of seal products, rejecting an appeal by Canada and Norway, in a landmark ruling that said animal welfare can trump trade.

The World Trade Organization's appellate body said that Brussels did not breach the rules of global commerce when it imposed its ban in 2010.

The global body has never before issued a final decision on how to square animal welfare with international trade regulations, and observers have said the case therefore marks a watershed.

The WTO's disputes settlement panel - which like the appellate body is made up of independent trade and legal experts - had issued a similar ruling last November, but Norway and Canada appealed.

 
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