The European Union’s ban dates back to 2009 with the main arguments that seal hunting was inhuman and a threat to seal welfare.
Norway and Canada brought the EU ban in for the World Trade Organization (WTO) arguing that their seal hunting indeed was human. Norway also argues that seal hunting is a needed part of the country’s management of marine resources. No seal hunting means more seals that threaten the stocks of fish. In November last year WTO ruled in favor of the EU arguments, but both Canada and Norway have now desided to appeal.
No date is set for examining the ruling, but such appeals are normally looked into within three months.
In a 122 pages big report, Brussels argues that the EU public overwhelmingly supports the ban, and that scientific evidence back claims that slaughter methods, such as using a club with a metal spike on it to stun seals before killing them, are cruel.
Ottawa and Oslo also claim the EU’s ban is discriminatory since seal products from Sweden and Finland are not banned. Both Finland and Sweden are EU members.
The Barents Region has some of the last largest areas of intact natural woodlands in Europe. Scientists, bureaucrats and environmentalists from all four Barents countries cooperate on preserving the forest, but an international initiative is needed.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.