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EU court rejects Inuit challenge of seal trade ban
by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (AFP) Sept 15, 2011

Europe's top court has rejected a bid by Inuit seal hunters and fur traders to strike down an EU ban on products derived from the Arctic animals.

The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice refused to hear the challenge brought by 17 organisations, including Canada's largest Inuit group, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), according to a 12-page decision dated September 6.

"Inuit are disappointed that the EU did not see fit to rule on the merits of this case, and have dismissed it, on technical grounds as inadmissible without a hearing," ITK leader Mary Simon said in a statement.

The organisation has filed a second challenge to the European Union ban, which is also opposed by Norway.

The ban, approved bn 2009 under pressure from animal rights groups, includes an exemption for seal products derived from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and indigenous communities for subsistence.

But Canada's indigenous groups fear it will severely damage their traditional seal hunt.

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Arctic Ice Nears Record Low In 2011
Paris (ESA) Sep 15, 2011
A new record low could soon be set for ice in the Arctic. The past five years have seen the lowest extent of sea ice since satellite measurements began in the 1970s. Earth observing satellites make it possible to measure the amount of sea ice in inaccessible areas such as the Arctic. This year, the extent of Arctic sea ice is comparable to the record low set in 2007. According to sc ... read more

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