Americans oppose EU fur ban
Friday 15 December 1995
The vote, by 262 to 46, delighted animal welfare campaigners but set the parliament on a collision course with the European Trade Commission and the Canadian and American governments, which have been lobbying hard for the law to be scrapped.
Leghold traps work by clamping on to an animal's leg, biting deep into the flesh, and restraining them until the trapper arrives. The animals are frequently left in the traps for several days and they often resort to tearing off their own limbs to escape.
The EU agreed to ban the leghold from 1995 and to ban fur imports from countries still using them. Countries could still export fur to the EU, providing they banned the leghold or adopted "internationally agreed humane trapping standards". The ban on fur imports was subsequently postponed until 1 January 1996.
But intense Canadian and American government pressure forced the EU to reconsider the ban. They claimed it amounted to a trade restriction and threatened to prosecute the EU under international free trade rules.
Last month the European Trade Commission voted to postpone the ban and set itself in direct confrontation with the parliament. The parliament claims that only it has power to delay or scrap the ban because it is an environmental matter. The commission claims that it has the power to scrap the ban, which it regards as a trade matter.
Ken Collins, Chairman of the European Parliament Environment Committee, said it was "entirely disgusted at the behaviour of the commission".
He added: "We are not just interested in trade and the environment but also the effect of trade on the environment. The environment must have equal weight over the way the community operates."
A spokesman for the European Commission said that the dispute was likely to end up in the European Court of Justice. He said: "We look forward to meeting the Parliament in court - there does not seem to be any other way."
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...