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Canada to appeal EU seal ban

Feb. 11, 2011 at 6:16 PM

OTTAWA, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Canada plans to appeal the European Union ban on seal products to the World Trade Organization, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said Friday.

Shea told reporters in Ottawa she does not believe the government's fight for seal hunters will damage other industries that employ more people, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. She suggested other industries might be damaged if the country does not take a stand on what she insists is a matter of principle.

"Today it's the seal hunt. Tomorrow it could be something else," Shea said.

A decision from the WTO could take a year or more, she said. But, she said, Canada needs "a ruling on the facts" and not on emotions.

Canada is one of six countries where seal hunting is still practiced and has the largest hunt. The others are Iceland, Norway and Russia, which are not EU members states; Greenland, which is a Danish region but has autonomy in its domestic affairs; and Namibia in southern Africa.

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