The European Union has decided not to ban Canadian fur imports, after a heated debate by European politicians.

The powerful European anti-fur movement has promoted the ban for five years because of what they called inhumane trapping practices.

But European officials have decided against the ban after threats of trade retaliation by Canada and the U.S.

The European ban was due to come into effect in January. But Canada, Russia and the European Union reached an 11th-hour compromise in December to phase out steel leghold traps over four years. A padded version will still be allowed.

The compromise was denounced by some European politicians as a “cosmetic change” that did nothing to ease the suffering of animals. They ordered the European Commission to proceed with the ban.