EU seal ban takes effect

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Norway’s controversial seal hunt already is a shadow of its former self, and now the seal hunters can no longer export their products to countries in the European Union (EU).

An EU ban on sales of seal products went into effect on August 20, meaning that no seal skins or other products of the hunt can be exported to EU countries.

Norwegian seal hunters still slaughter as many as 20,000 seals a year and have generated sales of around NOK 125 million, but controversy and the new EU ban have prompted many to claim the hunt is dying out. Only one Norwegian boat took part this season and the hunt relies heavily on state support, which the hunters complain is inadequate.

The EU has allowed some exceptions to its ban, to protect fishing stocks that can be threatened by hungry seals. Products from traditional hunts by indigenous peoples can also still be sold in the EU.

 Views and News staff