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EU adopts regulation on sale of seal products
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21:30, July 27, 2009

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The European Council adopted Monday a regulation to conditionally ban trade of seal products in the European Union (EU).

"In response to concerns about the animal welfare aspects of seal hunting practices, the new regulation provides that seal products may not be marketed in the EU," the council said in a statement.

Placing seal products on the market will only be permitted where the products result from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities to ensure their subsistence, the statement added, saying this provision "concerns the indigenous peoples of the Inuit homeland in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia."

Goods that result from hunts conducted for the sole purpose of sustainable management of marine resources may only be marketed on a not-for-profit basis, it said.

Import is also allowed, provided it is of an occasional nature and consists exclusively of goods for the personal use of travelers, said the statement.

The regulation covers products derived from all species of seals and includes fur skins, organs, meat, oil and blubber, which can for instance be used in cosmetics and medicine.

It will come into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and become effective nine months later, giving the European Commission and the member states time to put in place the necessary implementing measures.

The proposal for the regulation was submitted by the European Commission in July 2008 and adopted by the European Parliament in May.

Source: Xinhua

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