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Dispute settlement | Brussels, 22 May 2014

WTO upholds EU ban on seal products

In a ruling published today, the WTO’s Appellate Body upheld the EU’s ban on the importation and marketing of seal products. The findings were the result of a challenge by Canada and Norway to the EU’s legislation banning seal products.

The WTO confirmed the EU's right to ban seal products on moral grounds related to animal welfare and the way the seals are killed. It did, however, criticise the way the exception for Inuit hunts has been designed and implemented.

The European Commission will review the findings on these exceptions to the ban and consider options for implementation. Overall, the Commission welcomes today's ruling as it upholds the ban imposed in reaction to genuine concerns of EU citizens.

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