Jun 17, 2010
WSPA’s call to speak out against Norway’s cruel whaling has been met by support from around the world. Norway now needs to explain how they can defend their outdated practice.
The public outcry comes as Norway - one of only three countries still pursuing commercial whaling despite a global ban - prepares to defend its whaling next week at the 62nd annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Agadir, Morocco. The meeting may vote on a disastrous proposal that would effectively lift the 25 year old ban on commercial whaling and award Norway a quota of 6,000 minke whales over the next 10 years.
Earlier this week, the release of new footage demonstrating the cruelty of Norwegian whaling prompted a significant surge in the public response to the petition that had already been signed by thousands of people from around the world – including more than 5,000 Norwegians – demanding an end to this cruel and unnecessary practice.
WSPA’s marine mammal program manager Joanna Toole said: “It is clear that Norwegian whaling has run out of time. Our recent investigation clearly demonstrated that whaling is cruel, unreliable and inhumane. More than a hundred and one thousand people have now pledged their support to a growing global voice demanding that the suffering of whales be put before politics. Norway now has to explain how they can defend continuing this outdated practice.”
In late May WSPA and Norwegian animal protection groups Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge and NOAH – for dyrs rettigheter successfully obtained footage of a minke whale being harpooned by Norwegian whaling vessel ‘Rowenta’. The footage showed the impact of the harpoon and the subsequent failure of the whaling vessel to ensure that it was dead over the next 22 minutes. The footage – and the international response to it – supports WSPA’s position that the sheer size of whales, coupled with the challenging hunting environment, means that there is simply no humane way to kill these animals at sea.
Carl-Egil, Director of Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge, said: “We are extremely encouraged by this strong global opposition to Norwegian whaling - in particular the thousands of Norwegians calling for their country to stop whaling. It is now time that the government both acknowledges and acts on this.”
Signatures to the letter were gathered through online actions promoted in eight languages. Norwegian animal protection groups Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge and NOAH - for Dyrs Rettigheter will hand over the signatures to the Norwegian Prime Minister, office at 2:30 today pm (June 17th).
Siri Martinsen, veterinarian in NOAH – for Dyrs Rettigheter said: ”The cruelty of whaling may happen out of sight, but it is not out of mind – people will no longer tolerate this kind of brutal treatment of animals. We look forward to the Prime Minister’s response and hope he acts with both sense and compassion.”