The Council of the European Union approved a ban on sealskin products in its 27 member nations at a July 27 meeting in Brussels.
The ban is a “response to concerns about the animal welfare aspects of seal hunting practices,” said the council members in a statement on their decision.
The new restrictions apply to all products and processed goods derived from seals, including fur, meat, oil and omega-3 pills made from seal oil.
The ban exempts products from traditional hunts carried out by Inuit in Canada as well as in Greenland, Alaska and Russia. The ban still allows Canada to ship seal products through Europe, but it bars the promotion of these products.
The council says trade is permitted where “it is of an occasional nature and consists exclusively of goods for the personal use of the travelers” or results “from by-products of hunting [and] conducted for the purpose of sustainable management of marine resources on a non-profit basis.”
Denmark abstained from supporting the ban.
The new rules will become effective in nine months.
All Inuit from Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland are standing in solidarity against the EU on this, said Violet Ford, the vice-president of international affairs at the Inuit Circumpolar Council in a July 27 news release.
See on Nunatsiaq Online.