Results: Good news for seals
From a business point of view, the panel determined that the EU violated the articles I:1 and III:4 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994, which means the products derived from seal is treated less favorably than a similar product. Furthermore, Canada refers to the Article 2.2 of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. This article prohibits measures that have the effect to create unnecessary obstacles into international trade.
The panel of the WTO determined the EU regulation was not contrary to the article 2.2, due to the concerns for animal welfare of the citizens in the European. To summarize, if the panel recognizes the majority of the points of law in favor of Canada, they also recognize that the European Regulation pursues a legitimate aim relating to public morality as well as the measures put in place by the European Regulations that are required to meet these moral concerns.
At the end of November 2013, the WTO dismissed Canada and Norway's arguments and enabled the European Regulation to ban the use of seal products. The two countries tried to appeal but this appeal was rejected on May 22, 2014. Finally, we can rejoice that the panel supported the interests of European citizens against the suffering of animals and we can hope this kind of judgment could be a precedent for the trade of animals and a responsible and sustainable use of resources.
By Emerick Fayolle Emerick Fayolle is an Intern at Frontier, an international non-profit volunteering NGO. Frontier has over 300 dedicated conservation and community development projects as well as plenty of inspiring gap year ideas to help make your time out meaningful. For more information on all the opportunities available please visit www.frontier.ac.uk. Check out Frontier's blog ‘Into the Wild' where you can read more articles like this! Happy reading!
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Regulation n 1007/2009
Part IV of the marine mammal regulations