May 5, 2009 / 3:58 PM / in 9 years

Canada pledges WTO challenge of EU seal import ban

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada pledged on Tuesday it would launch a World Trade Organization challenge of the European Union’s planned ban on seal products, unless the EU agrees to exempt humane and sustainable sealing.

“If the EU imposes a trade ban on seal products it must contain an exemption for any country, like Canada, that has strict guidelines in place for humane and sustainable sealing practices,” Trade Minister Stockwell Day said. “If there is no such acceptable exemption, Canada will challenge the ban at the World Trade Organization.”

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to ban imports of seal product. Day said EU member states still have a chance to reverse the parliamentary decision at the EU’s council of ministers.

Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson

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