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June 23, 2010

Return to Commercial Whaling Option Rejected for Now at Annual Whaling Meeting

AGADIR, Morocco — Humane Society International leaders expressed their satisfaction at Wednesday's withdrawal of a "compromise" package that would have legitimized commercial whaling, set aside by the delegates at the morning session of the 62nd annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission. 

"The proposal was fatally flawed from the beginning, above all because it promised to validate commercial whaling without setting a true deadline for its extinction," said Kitty Block, vice president of HSI and head of the HSI delegation at Agadir. "There were also significant defects in the alternative plans championed by several nations and non-governmental actors involved in the discussions at IWC 62, and we opposed those for similar reasons."

But Block cautioned that the deal could resurface later this week in another form, and that HSI would remain vigilant in its efforts to protect the global moratorium on commercial whaling.

Block also noted the strong opening statement of the United States delegation at IWC, which affirmed that "The conservation of whales is paramount to the United States," and underscored the point that the American government would "not support an agreement at any cost."

HSI and its parent organization The Humane Society of the United States mounted a wide-ranging campaign to pressure the Obama administration to take a strong stand at Agadir, and to resist any compromise packages that would have undermined the commercial whaling moratorium approved in 1982.

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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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