End Dolphin Slaughter in Japan

21Sep06

Facts about Dolphin Drive Hunts in Japan (Link)

“During drive hunts, migrating pods of dolphins and other small whales are first panicked and confused by loud banging, then herded, by the hundreds, into shallow coves and butchered, one by one, by fishermen. Every year, some 20,000 small cetaceans of several species, some of which are endangered, including bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, spotted dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, short-finned pilot whales, white-sided dolphins and false killer whales, are killed or taken in the drives, sometimes illegally.

This cruel and inhumane practice is sanctioned and controlled by the Government of Japan, which claims that these animals compete with the fishermen and slaughtering them is a means of pest control, but no evidence for this claim exists. The dolphins are processed and used as pet food or fertilizer, and the government is encouraging the consumption of dolphin meat. In fact, the hunts would be economically unviable without the sale of live dolphins captured during the drives to dolphinariums in Asia and elsewhere.

There is abundant scientific evidence that drive hunts inflict incredible pain and suffering on highly intelligent, self-aware, and socially complex animals. The hunts have been universally condemned on both welfare and conservation grounds, but repeated requests to end them, from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and numerous other scientific and conservation organizations, have been ignored.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the professional organization that represents over 1,200 zoos and aquariums around the world, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in the United States, have also condemned these hunts. WAZA explicitly prohibits member organizations from procuring animals from drive hunts. Now, marine scientists, WAZA, and AZA have joined with other non-governmental organizations to bring an immediate end to drive hunting.”

Join us in our efforts by signing the petition.

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The petition:

End Dolphin Slaughter in Japan

Please sign this petition and help us put an end to the slaughter of dolphins and small whales in drive hunts.

To:
Mr. Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister
State of Japan
Tokyo
Japan

We, the undersigned, join with the global community of marine scientists and zoo and aquarium professionals in condemning the brutal and inhumane practice of dolphin drive hunts carried out in your country. Dolphins are highly intelligent, complex, emotional, social, and sentient mammals, and we urge you to exercise your authority to end this cruel, callous, and unconscionable practice.

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