27 Sep Why Its OK to Club Baby Seals: Canada Prepares WTO Case Defending Seal Fur Industry
. Canada has requested WTO consultations over the decision by several European countries to ban the sale of seal fur from Canada. Belgium and the Netherlands recently adopted bans on the import of seal fur, citing the cruelty of the annual Canadian seal hunts, which allegedly involve clubbing young seals on the head. This is kind of an odd case since it can’t possibly be a very important industry for Canada, and somewhat at odds with Canada’s feel-good progressive image. Still, it will be interesting to see what the European defense to the complaint will be: Does the prevention of cruelty to animals fulfill the “public morals” exception of GATT Article XX(a)? I’m not sure if that argument is applicable here, but it will be interesting if it is raised.
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