(SEALS) The European Union suspended a ban on seal products pending a review on behalf of the Inuit people, who say the ban would kill their business, even though they are exempt. We say kill the business and let the seals live. — Global Animal

Postmedia News, Peter O’Neil

The European Union and a Brussels-based anti-sealing lobby group shrugged off what they described yesterday as a temporary delay in the full implementation of the ban on import of seal products to Europe.

The ban is currently being challenged by the Canadian government at the World Trade Organization and by Canada’s Inuit community before the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg.

The General Court announced Thursday it would suspend implementation of the law pending a full hearing starting in September into Inuit complaints about the ban.

Inuit leaders say the European law’s exemption, granting them the right to sell their products in Europe, is meaningless because the ban will drive down prices and dry up markets.

“The commission believes [the ban] ensures res-pect for all our international obligations, while at the same time responding to the concerns ex-pressed by EU citizens,” stated a news release from the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission.

“It also ensures that the fundamental economic and social interests of Inuit communities engaged in the hunting of seals as a means to ensure their subsistence are not adversely affected.”

The International Fund for Animal Welfare issued a news release stating that it expects the court to rule in Europe’s favour.

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