BERLIN (AP) — The Swiss government has banned imports of most seal products, bringing its rules in line with those of the European Union.
The governing Federal Council decided Friday to ban the import of products such as blubber, organs, fur and skins effective April 1. There will be exemptions for items resulting from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit or other indigenous communities, and travelers will still be allowed to import seal products for personal use.
A government statement said that Swiss imports of seal products are "already minimal" and the new rules are unlikely to have a significant practical effect.
Switzerland is not a member of the 28-nation EU but is surrounded by the bloc and has close ties with it.