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June 17, 2010

67 U.S. Representatives Support Upholding Commercial Whaling Ban

Letter to President urges stronger whale protection in advance of International Whaling Commission meetings

WASHINGTON — Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States commend Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, D-Guam, and 66 other U.S. Representatives who joined her on a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to require the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission to vote to uphold the ban on commercial whaling. The letter was delivered Thursday, in advance of upcoming international meetings that begin on June 21.

The worldwide ban on commercial whaling has been in place for more than two decades and is in danger of being overturned. Next week, the IWC will meet to decide whether to allow a resumption of commercial whaling in exchange for promises by three whaling nations to reduce the numbers of whales they kill each year.

IWC member countries originally adopted the ban in 1982 (implementing it in 1986) to protect whales from extinction after decades of slaughter. This conservation measure was a landmark decision and was achieved in great measure because of the United States' leadership. 

The letter, led by Congresswoman Bordallo, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Chairwoman, reads in part: "The fact that Japan, Iceland and Norway have continued whaling during the international moratorium — the former under the guise of scientific research that has been disavowed by the scientific community and the latter two continuing to whale commercially under an objection — should not be rewarded. "

Bordallo said, "I am deeply skeptical that any proposal developed by the International Whaling Commission to reduce the number of whales killed could be sufficiently rigorous to merit overturning the 1986 commercial whaling moratorium. Further, any such proposal is at odds with the expressed aspirations of the American people. Commercial whaling is inherently cruel and completely unnecessary in the 21st century."

Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International, said, "I hope the administration hears the pleas of the American people in time to change course and once again be a leader in upholding  the ban and seeking an end to all commercial whaling." 

For the past few years a small group of IWC parties, including the United States, has been working on a compromise package that is being portrayed as a way to resolve a dsyfunction within the IWC.  

The proposal to be presented for a vote at the IWC meeting in Agadir, Morocco, from June 21-25 would:

  • legitimize the rogue whaling of three countries that have ignored the ban and the will of the international community;
  • effectively overturn the moratorium;
  • stimulate the demand for whale products;
  • approve commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary;
  • fail to close the loopholes in the whaling convention; and
  • require the United States to pay for regulating commercial whaling.

The Representatives who signed onto the House letter are as follows:  

Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y.

Brian Baird, D-Wash.

Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

Tim Bishop, D-N.Y.

Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.

Madeleine Z. Bordallo, D-Guam

Robert A. Brady, D-Pa.

Lois Capps, D-Calif.

André Carson, D-Ind.

Michael N. Castle, R-Del.

Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo.

Mike Coffman, R-Colo.

Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

Gerry Connolly, D-Va.

Bill Delahunt, D- Mass.

Rosa L. DeLauro, D-Conn.

Ted Deutch, D-Fla.

Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa

Sam Farr, D-Calif.

John Garamendi, D-Calif.

Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

John Hall, D-N.Y.

Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla.

Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii

Rush Holt, D-N.J.

Mike M. Honda, D-Calif.

Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., D-Ill.

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas

Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I.

Peter T. King, R-N.Y.

Larry Kissell, D-N.C.

Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Ohio

Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

John Lewis, D-Ga.

Doris O. Matsui, D-Calif.

Betty McCollum, D-Minn.

James P. McGovern, D- Mass.

Jerry McNerney, D-Calif.

Mike H. Michaud, D-Maine

George Miller, D-Calif.

Dennis Moore, D-Kan.

Jim Moran, D-Va.

Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

John W. Olver, D- Mass.

Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J.

Donald M. Payne, D-N.J.

Gary C. Peters, D-Mich.

Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

Steven Rothman, D-N.J.

Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.

Tim Ryan, D-Ohio

Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif.

John P. Sarbanes, D-Md.

Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Jose E. Serrano, D-N.Y.

Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.

Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

Jackie Speier, D-Calif.

Fortney "Pete" Stark, D-Calif.

Betty Sutton, D-Ohio

Mike Thompson, D-Calif.

Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

Henry Waxman, D-Calif. 

Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif.

David Wu, D-Ore.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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