The EU’s controversial seal products ban has been suspended—at least for now. The ban, which was supposed to start Friday, will not be imposed until after the EU’s General Court settles a legal challenge from the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatama, which represents Inuit in Canada, Greenland and Norway. Gail Shea, Federal Fisheries Minister, says she was pleased to hear the injunction had been granted until the case is heard in the fall or early winter. While the ban already exempts seal products produced by aboriginal groups, ITK president Mary Simon says the effect of the ban would be a collapse of the market. Stephen Harper said Wednesday that he is “very strongly in opposition” to the ban and has called it “flagrant discrimination.” The seal products ban was agreed to by 27 EU members in 2009 in recognition that many citizens view the annual seal hunt, during which animals are bludgeoned to death with clubs, is cruel.
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