Are lobsters cute enough to get the seal-ban treatment?

Lobster. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder/ FILE PHOTO)

Lobster. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder/ FILE PHOTO)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:05 PM ET

OTTAWA — If the European Union is allowed to ban seal imports over "public morality", Environment Minister Leona Agluqqak worries something as pedestrian as lobster fishing might be next on its hit list.

Just days before the World Trade Organization is set to release its final ruling on the EU's seal ban, Agluqqak said the ban is a "slippery slope" and "very dangerous, globally."

Last year, the WTO upheld the EU's ban by citing a controversial "public morality" clause.

Last December, the WTO ruled that although the EU's ban on seal products did indeed break some trade rules, the ban was justified on the grounds of this "public morality" clause — which does not have to be shown to be justified, according to the WTO's rules.

"It opens up the door for someone to come say: 'We don't like how you kill the lobster and on my moral grounds I'm now going to appeal,'" she said.

A ruling is expected Thursday.


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