The dolphin hunting season has officially kicked off in Taiji. So far, the hunters have come back empty handed. But it won’t be long until they find a terrified pod and chase it into the cove. Soon the dolphin “trainers” will arrive in preparation. And many of these trainers will be from IMATA.
IMATA is the world’s peak body for marine animal trainers. Even though they profess to “respect animals”, their actions tell a very different story.
IMATA trainers stand side by side with the hunters in Taiji, choosing which dolphins live and die. IMATA even have an official policy allowing their trainers to participate in the cruel collection process. This process sees dolphins violently dragged by their tail flukes, wrestled into nets and boats, and ripped from their families.
Up until just last year, another leading zoo and aquarium body –WAZA – also endorsed the violent captures in Taiji. When AFD supporters took to social media with their demands and helped fund landmark legal action against the zoo body, WAZA listened. Now, hundreds of aquariums are banned from buying dolphins from Taiji. We need to continue this strategy – and get the trainers out of Taiji too.
IMATA says it condemns the slaughters. If you don’t scrutinise the language carefully, this makes it seem like IMATA is against the hunts altogether. But it absolutely isn’t.
The captures IMATA allows its trainers to conduct occur as part of the same hunt as the slaughters. The trainers pick the dolphins they like, and throw the rest on the slaughter pile.
What’s more, the capture process itself is extremely violent. Many dolphins die just in the herding process, from drowning or cardiac arrest. Others die from fatal injuries they sustain as they are roughly pushed and pulled by the trainers.
Help stop the torture. Please sign the petition: www.handsofftaijidolphins.com
The lucrative capture of dolphins is the entire reason the hunts are conducted. The dolphins are captured because they can sell for over $50,000 each (slaughtered dolphins sell for only $500 each).
The slaughters are just by-product, it’s the aquarium trade that motivates the hunts.
IMATA really can’t be against the hunts, but for the captures. As long as they endorse the captures, they are in practice endorsing the slaughters.
Endorsing wild dolphin captures is an archaic policy shared by no other respected international bodies or companies. Countries like the US, UK and Australia banned wild dolphin captures long ago. Other peak world bodies, like the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, have also banned their members from participating in wild dolphin captures.
If everyone else can say “no” to wild dolphin captures, so can IMATA.
Please, sign the petition to nudge IMATA in the right direction: www.handsofftaijidolphins.com
With enough public pressure, IMATA will change its archaic policy. And by exposing IMATA’s terrible practices, you can stop their trainers participating in one of the worst acts of animal cruelty in the world.