Oslo and Ottawa appeal WTO seal product ruling

Seal on the ice near Svalbard.

Norway and Canada disagree with WTO’s backing of the EU ban on import and sale of seal products.


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.