November 25, 2013 – St. John’s:      The CSA response to today’s WTO decision:

Eldred Woodford appearing on CTV News – video is here

Press release from the CSA office:
The Canadian Sealers Association strongly objects to the ruling by the World Trade organization that upholds the current ban on seal products throughout the European Union. The east coast sealing industry is one of the most regulated harvest of its kind anywhere in the world, and sealers are required to be trained in humane harvest and quality related standards. The basis for this ruling is nothing more than a weak attempt at making an already poor initial decision by the EU to institute a ban without any credible foundation, even more frivolous.

Our rural people depend upon the ocean for their livelihood and a significant amount of that includes the income from sealing and as well a viable and sustainable sealing industry plays a very important role in keeping a large seal population from getting out of control. We strongly urge the Canadian Government to continue to support the seal harvest and to take whatever action is necessary to correct this injustice.

Frank Pinhorn, director of The Canadian Sealer’s Association

Canada will appeal latest WTO decision on EU Ban on Seal Products

November 25, 2013 – Ottawa:     The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, today issued the following statement:

“On February 11, 2011, our government requested the establishment of a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel to challenge the European Union’s unfair ban on seal products in order to stand up for Canadian sealers and to vigorously defend the interests of Canada’s Inuit and Indigenous communities.

“Today the WTO panel found that the European Union’s import ban on Canadian seal products violates its international trade obligations. Canada will appeal to the WTO Appellate Body any findings that would allow this unfair ban to continue.

Full Canadian Government Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada press release is here

The WTO full press release is here