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June 9, 2010

Japan Sets Sail to Kill Whales Right Before International Whaling Commission Meeting

Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International, issued the following statement on Wednesday.

"In just more than two weeks, the International Whaling Commission 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. Yet Japan, one of those nations, set sail Tuesday with the goal of killing 260 whales in the North Pacific waters.

"The timing of Japan's whaling expedition — which seeks to kill 100 minke whales, 100 sei whales, 50 Bryde's whales and 10 sperm whales before late August — makes a mockery of the compromise process in which the IWC delegations of the United States and other nations are engaged. Maybe Japanese whalers thought that their mission of slaughter would go unnoticed because this hunt is not taking place in an IWC sanctuary? Maybe they thought the particular whale species they seek to kill wouldn't attract wide condemnation? Or maybe Japan believes that the deal will go through and by the time the fleet reaches port in August commercial whaling will once again be authorized by the IWC? 

"Whatever their reasoning, this most recent action demonstrates that the only way to ensure less whales are killed is to seek better enforcement, close the loopholes in the Convention and uphold the moratorium on commercial whaling." 

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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.

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