50 dolphins captured in Taiji, sold to life in prison: #ShameIMATA!

Sep 21, 2015 by afdadmin
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Terrified dolphins try to escape. Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Terrified dolphins try to escape. Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

This weekend, up to 80 innocent dolphins were violently chased into the killing cove in Taiji. They were trapped, exhausted and starving. For two whole days dolphin trainers entered the cove and cruelly tore between 46-50 members of the terrified dolphin family out of the wild. They were taken to a holding facility called Dolphin Base, where they are being monitored for severe shock and fatigue.

Soon, these traumatised dolphins will be loaded into crates and shipped around the world to spend the rest of their lives in tiny, concrete tanks.

The tragic events of this weekend were a stark reminder of the appalling role dolphin trainers play in sustaining these brutal hunts. All day Saturday and Sunday, trainers got into boats and entered the cove. With pointed fingers they chose which dolphins they thought were the most ‘attractive’, condemning them to spend the rest of their lives in miserable tanks, away from their families and the ocean. They even helped the hunters trap and drag bleeding dolphins out of the sea in nets.

Injured dolphin struggles to escape its captors. Photo: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

Injured dolphin struggles to escape its captors. Photo: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

No doubt, many of the trainers playing God with the lives of dolphins in Taiji this weekend were from IMATA – the world’s peak animal trainers’ association.

IMATA says its trainers are helping “salvage” dolphins by participating in these brutal hunts – but last weekend was further proof they are really just stealing dolphins from the wild and sustaining the cruel slaughters in Taiji.

In its Code of Ethics IMATA states all its members are “committed to exercising the highest levels of respect and humaneness for all animals”. But trainers did not show any respect or kindness towards dolphins over the weekend as they brutally tore them out of the wild. It was torture, pure and simple, and IMATA cannot continue to say one thing and do another by allowing its trainers to participate in these cruel and barbaric hunts.

Dolphin trainers helping to take two dolphins out of the wild. Photo: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

Dolphin trainers helping to take two dolphins out of the wild. Photo: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

It’s time to TAKE ACTION. Say NO MORE to IMATA’s double-faced hypocrisy.

Please, add your voice to the chorus of people calling for change by sending an email directly to the person in charge at [email protected]. If you’re stuck for inspiration, have a look at AFD’s recent letter to IMATA for ideas.

And take to Twitter using the #ShameIMATA hashtag to join in the growing movement of people saying ‘enough is enough’; IMATA cannot continue to allow its members to take dolphins from the wild using some of the cruellest methods imaginable.

On the 27th of September, in just six days time, dolphin trainers from all over the world will gather in the same room at IMATA’s annual conference in the Bahamas. There has never been a better opportunity to get IMATA to change its cruel policy, which actually allows its dolphin trainers to get in the water and participate in the barbaric Taiji hunts.

Shining a light on IMATA’s terrible practices can help end their trainers’ involvement in one of the worst acts of animal cruelty in the world. And with no trainers supporting the horrific dolphin captures, these barbaric hunts will end.

We’ve seen how powerful this approach can be with the recent win against the world’s peak zoo body – which stopped Japanese aquariums buying Taiji dolphins. We know it can work.

So please, write an email to the President of IMATA, Linda Erb, at [email protected] now.

Tell the IMATA President that it is just not acceptable for the world’s peak animal trainers’ association to condone horrendous animal cruelty. Not on a policy level, and not in the bloody waters surrounding Taiji – where so many dolphins are subject to indescribable torture.

Because no animal deserves to be ripped away from its family and home to spend life in a miserable chlorinated tank. And no baby dolphin deserves to be left behind, injured and alone, to slowly starve to death.

Don’t let them get away with it any longer. #ShameIMATA.