The EU Seal Products Ban – Why Ineffective Animal Welfare Protection Cannot Justify Trade Restrictions under European and International Trade Law by Martin Hennig, Postdoc, Ph.D, Faculty of Law, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway

The article posted on the Arctic Review website, in March 2015, referred to in the abstract appeared in the – Nordic Open Access Scholarly Publishes site section on Arctic Review on Law and Politics.

In this article, the author questions the legitimacy of the general ban on trade in seal products adopted by the European Union. It is submitted that the EU Seal Regime, which permits the marketing of Greenlandic seal products derived from Inuit hunts, but excludes Canadian and Norwegian seal products from the European market, does not ensure a satisfactory degree of animal welfare protection in order to justify the comprehensive trade restriction in place. It is argued that the current ineffective EU ban on seal products, which according to the WTO Appellate Body cannot be reconciled with the objective of protecting animal welfare, has no legal basis in EU Treaties and should be annulled.   (Full article can be read here)

Jim Winter,  former president of the CSA and past CBC host of  The Fisheries Broadcast posted a response:

Well said, well reasoned Mr, Hennig. Sadly when EU and USA politicians are in the pocket, owned, by multi million dollar American headquartered animal rights groups the chance of of logic and reason prevailing is somewhere between slim and none. The reality is that less than 3% of EU and USA citizens believe in the animal rights philosophy – as compared to most people who believe in animal conservation and animal welfare – so the animal rights groups have to control, own, enough votes in the EU (or member state) parliaments (in the USA it is easier to own one politician who uses the “earmark” concept to get his pet issue passed) to ensure that the citizens of these areas are denied their democratic tight to individually choose to use seal products: or not.