| 11 Mar 2004 @ 21:13, by Alana Tobin|
See What You Can Do!!!
Stop Whaling in Japan, Iceland, and Faroe Islands.
Read the couple of reports here and see the actions you can take to stop this insanity!
Current Whaling Info and Events:WDCS.org
Please sign the Iceland petition!
and Important Petition from Greenpeace sited below:
WAL-MART: Tell Wal-Mart to stop the sale of whale meat in Japan
TESCO: Stop Tesco-owned supermarkets selling whale meat in Japan
Take Action to Stop Iceland Whaling Easy Steps to Take Now!
Act now - to send a campaign e-card click here So easy, and quick!
Click on all five in five minutes you can send them all!
Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Tuesday March 9, 2004
David Attenborough says there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea and questions whether whaling should "still be tolerated by a civilised society" in a report today by scientists and major conservation organisations. In a departure from his long held stance of neutrality on political and conservation questions, Sir David makes clear his opposition to whaling in the report, Troubled Waters.
The issue of whalers' ability to kill humanely is central to the British and other conservation-minded nations opposing the resumption of commercial whaling. They say that if it cannot be achieved, then whaling should not resume. The report shows that instantaneous death cannot be guaranteed and although the average time from being hit by an explosive harpoon to death is two minutes, many whales live much longer. Some are wounded and face an unknown fate.
In his foreword Sir David says: "Whales are highly evolved animals with all the sensitivities that that statement implies. They have a complex social life. They call to one another across the vast expanses of oceans. "They are the largest animals that have ever existed, far larger than any dinosaur. There is nothing in the body of a whale, which is of use to us, for which we cannot find equivalents elsewhere." He says the report contains "hard scientific dispassionate evidence that there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea."
He quotes Harry Lillie, who worked as a ship's physician on a whaling trip in the Antarctic half a century ago: "If we can imagine a horse having two or three explosive spears stuck in its stomach and being made to pull a butcher's truck through the streets of London while it pours blood into the gutter, we shall have an idea of the method of killing. "The gunners themselves admit that if whales could scream, the industry would stop for nobody would be able to stand it."
Sir David continues: "The use of harpoons with explosive grenade heads is still the main technique used by whalers today. "I hope that you will read the following pages and decide for yourself whether the hunting of whales in this way should still be tolerated by a civilised society."
The report, produced by the World Society for the Protection of Animals, draws on academic research and the expertise of a New Zealand government ballistics expert, the Humane Society of the United States, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, and the RSPCA. Killing methods compare unfavourably to those imposed on the slaughter of land animals, the report says. It says that claims by the whaling industry to be able to kill instantaneously vary widely between Japan and Norway, the two main whaling nations. The Norwegians claim to kill 80.7% instantaneously but the Japanese only 40.2%, although both are using the same techniques.
The main killing method is a harpoon that penetrates about 1ft into the whale before exploding, killing the animal with shock waves. If this fails a second harpoon or rifle is used. Average time to death is more than two minutes, the report says. However it claims that "adaptations for diving" may make it difficult to determine whether the animals are dead. "Their sheer mass, complex vascular systems and specific anatomical features may also impede efforts to kill them swiftly and humanely."
The persecuted species
· There are more than 80 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the cetacean family
· Ten are listed as endangered and two critically endangered
· Eleven types are still hunted
· Killing great whales, 10 tonnes and above, is prohibited by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) but around 1,400 are expected to be hunted this year
· Smaller whales, like pilot whales and dolphins, are outside the scope of the IWC. Unknown thousands are killed
· Whales used to be caught for oil for lighting, heating, and lubrication; for use in making soaps and paints; and in processing textiles and rope. Bone was used to make corset stays, umbrella ribs, fishing rods, whips, carriage springs, skirt hoops, brushes, and nets. Meat was a byproduct
· Meat is eaten in Japan, Norway, the Faroe Islands, and by various indigenous peoples
· The principal method of killing is an explosive harpoon
· Norway kills between 550 and 650 minke whales a year; Japan 440 minkes in the Antarctic, 150 minkes, 59 sei, 50 Bryde's and 10 sperm whales in the Pacific.
· Iceland says it intends to kill up to 250 minke and sei whales annually for sale to Japan.
· The largest whale still hunted is the sperm, weighing 57 tonnes and 18 metres in length
Whale groups focus on cruelty
By MICHAEL McCARTHY
LONDON - Animal welfare groups from around the world yesterday launched a report on whaling that sets out to take the argument back to basics - highlighting the cruelty of the kill.
The report, likely to be seen as one of the most significant new contributions to the whaling debate for many years, is a hugely detailed scientific study of just how much violence is needed to slaughter the world's largest animals in the open ocean. It's premise is that much of the argument in the annual conferences of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) now tends to be about whale population statistics, and this has obscured the key issue - that the very act of killing the great whales, usually by explosive harpoons, is of its nature unacceptably cruel.
Entitled "Troubled Waters", the report comprehensively reviews the animal welfare implications of modern whaling activities. It has been produced by 142 animal welfare organisations from 57 countries, which have come together in a coalition named Whalewatch.
The coalition's avowed purpose is to bring the issue of cruelty back to the fore at the next IWC meeting in Italy in July, and to maintain the international moratorium on commercial whaling. The moratorium has been in force since 1986, but is increasingly being challenged by the three main pro-whaling nations - Japan, Norway and Iceland. Since it was brought in, more than 20,000 whales have been killed by the whaling countries - by Japan and recently Iceland under the guise of "scientific" whaling, and by Norway as a simple commercial hunt.
In this coming year they are likely to target more than 1400 animals between them, mostly minke whales. But the report does not concern itself with numbers. It sets out to demonstrate, in extensive technical detail, that the great whales are so big and powerful that the amount of force needed to despatch even one of them is unacceptably inhumane.
Britain's best-known naturalist, the broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, stresses the point in his foreword to the report. "The following pages contain hard, scientific, dispassionate evidence that there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea," he says.
(repeated information from above report removed here)
He suggests any reader of the report should "decide for yourself whether the hunting of whales in this way should still be tolerated by a civilised society".
Peter Davies, director-general of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, one of the leading groups in the coalition, said: "The cruelty behind whaling has become obscured in recent years by abstract arguments over population statistics. The fact is that, whether it is one whale or a thousand, whaling is simply wrong on cruelty grounds alone."
The technology used for killing whales has altered little since the 19th century, when the grenade-tipped harpoon was invented. The penthrite grenade harpoon, the main killing method today, is fired from a cannon mounted on the bow of a ship. It is intended to penetrate about 30cm into the whale before detonating; the aim is to kill the animal through neurotrauma induced by the blast-generated pressure waves of the explosion. But if the first harpoon fails to kill the whale, then a second penthrite harpoon or a rifle is used as a secondary killing method.
But given the constantly moving environment in which whales live, there are inherent difficulties in achieving a quick, clean kill, the report says, and some whales take more than an hour to die. The difficulties in hitting a whale with any degree of accuracy can be seen in the margin for human error. For example, despite similar killing methods being used, Norway reported that one in five whales failed to die instantaneously during its 2002 hunt, and Japan said the majority of whales - almost 60 per cent - did not die instantaneously during its 2002/2003 hunt.
Tests to determine the moment of death of a whale are inadequate, the report says, and the question remains whether whales may in fact still be alive long after having been judged to be dead. The full extent of their suffering is yet to be scientifically evaluated.
WHAT CAN I DO? - JAPAN WHALING
Despite a Worldwide Ban, the Killing Continues
Say "NO" to the ongoing slaughter of whales in international waters.
Despite a worldwide ban, whales are still being slaughtered for commercial profit. Since 1999, Japan has killed 600 minke whales in the North Pacific and the Southern Ocean Sanctuary under the guise of "scientific research" -- while the meat and by-products from the slaughtered whales is sold for profit. Norway also continues to kill whales in outright defiance of the ban; nearly 600 minke whales were slaughtered this past season.
The Pacific Whale Foundation is strongly opposed to commercial whaling. Please help stop this cruel and unnecessary slaughter!
For further information on whaling, see: www.whaling.com
SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE SLAUGHTER!
Speak out against the slaughter NOW in 4 easy steps:
STEP 1: FIND YOUR REPS
Go to www.congress.org and enter your ZIP CODE for your local representatives' contact information (will open in a new window).
STEP 2: SELECT "ALL REPS"
Click on the link at the top which says "write to ALL your representatives with one click."
STEP 3: CUT and PASTE this letter into the email message box (or write your own)
I strongly oppose Japan's ongoing killing of whales, which is done behind the thin guise of "scientific research." Their actions mock the spirit and intent of international law, and it is time for the United States to take action against such unethical activities.
I believe that the United States should impose sanctions against the Government of Japan such as by denying them a permanent Seat on the United Nations Security Council, and by rescinding their permits to fish in U.S. waters, until they agree to end whaling and ban whale meat.
STEP 4: SEND the letter!
ANOTHER ACTION BELOW for ICELAND:
What You Can Do!
IMMEDIATELY contact the Icelandic embassy in Washington DC:
Mr. Helgi Ágústsson, Ambassador
Embassy of Iceland
1156 15th Street N.W., Suite 1200
Washington DC 20005-1704
Urge the government of Iceland to:
Halt all plans to kill whales for scientific research and for commercial purposes, and Withdraw their formal objection to the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling.
...Iceland does not need to kill whales for science; scientists can learn much more about whales by nonlethal research methods, such as photo identification, tagging, DNA analysis, and observation experiments.
...Iceland's research proposal was rejected by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in July 2003. Indeed, Iceland misled the IWC by claiming the scientific whaling proposal would not be implemented until 2006.
...Iceland's research proposal is a thinly veiled attempt to renew commercial whaling. Plans for the future by Iceland include proposals to kill as many as 250 whales annually, including endangered fin and sei whales in the North Atlantic, as well as minke.
...Iceland's whaling proposal threatens its growing whale-watching industry. In 2002, more than 62,000 people went whale-watching in Iceland. Tourism in Iceland is second only to commercial fishing exports in its value to the Icelandic economy.
...The renewal of Iceland's whaling also threatens the island's two major industries -- commercial fishing and tourism. Invocation of the Pelly Amendment by the United States government could cut off fish imports from Iceland. If another global citizen boycott against Iceland's fish products is mounted, Iceland stands to lose billions of dollars in annual income.
...Just as Iceland is following the lead of Japan and Norway, the only other two countries that continue to flaunt the IWC's 1985 moratorium on commercial whaling, other nations and pirate operators will be encouraged to kill more whales.
...Whales have been seriously depleted worldwide from centuries of whaling, especially in the North Atlantic. It is time we learn to live with healthy oceans, instead of turning our oceans into seas of slaughter.
For more information, please contact:
Earth Island Institute at (415) 788-3666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whales are sensitive, social animals with highly developed nervous systems. They have a profound capacity to suffer distress, terror and pain. Each year, the Faroese kill over 1500 pilot whales. The scenes of medieval cruelty are too shocking to be shown here.
Whole families of whales - including pregnant mothers, lactating females, youngsters and foetuses - are butchered by the islanders. The whales die slow deaths, screaming in agony. Their killers are often drunk.
Islanders in motorboats first drive the whales into a bay. The chase may be lengthy. The exhausted, terrified and confused whales are eventually driven into the shallows. Here the bloodbath begins. The islanders repeatedly hammer 2.2 kg metal gaffs into the living flesh of each whale until the hooks hold. A 15 cm knife is then used to slash through the blubber and flesh to the spinal column. Next the main blood vessels are severed. The blood-stained bay is soon filled with horribly mutilated and dying whales.
The Faroese celebrate the butchery of their victims in an carnival atmosphere of entertainment. Indoctinated from an early age, children are often given a day off school to watch the fun. They run down to the bay and clamber over the carcasses of slaughtered whales.
Is the suffering inflicted by Faroese whaling ethically justified? Or is whale-killing an atrocity that has no place in any civilised society?
Please get involved?
Animal Rights FAQ
The Cruelty of Whaling
Project Jonah and Greenpeace: Important Info!