The European Union's general ban on imports of Canadian seal products will stand, with an exception for subsistence Inuit hunting. ((Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press))

A court ruling Thursday rejected a challenge to the European Union's ban on imports of Canadian seal products.

The ban was suspended in August after Inuit groups in Canada launched the legal challenge, arguing the ban would have a severe economic impact on them.

Seal products from traditional Inuit hunts for subsistence are exempt from the ban, but Inuit challenged the general ban, arguing it would make it more difficult for them to sell their products.

That argument was rejected Thursday by European Court of Justice Judge Marc Jaeger, who said the Inuit didn't provide evidence to justify their fears.

Animal protection groups applauded the decision.

Earlier this year, the federal government said the ban is unacceptable. It’s pursuing a complaint at the World Trade Organization.


  • Inuit groups were challenging the EU's general ban on seal imports from Canada, and not, as originally reported, suing for an exemption to that ban — something they already have.
    Oct 17, 2013 2:46 AM NT