Dolphins captured, awaiting slaughter in Taiji

Sep 11, 2015 by afdadmin
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Source: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

This morning a group of Risso’s dolphins were captured in Taiji, marking the start of the town’s infamous hunting season. A number of dolphins drowned or received life-threatening injuries in the perilous chase.

Please call on the Wakayama Governor to cancel the dolphin hunting permit by signing here. 

Soon, dolphin trainers from around the world will arrive to handpick the “prettiest” dolphins for aquariums. The rest of the pod will be brutally stabbed with metal rods before slowly drowning to death in their own blood.

While the official dolphin-hunting season commenced on September 1st, this is the first pod of dolphins to be captured. The overall quota for the season has been set at 1,873 dolphins and small whales, which will be captured and killed in hunts taking place every day from now until March 2016.

Please use your voice to call on the Governor to cancel the dolphin hunting permit:

According to the CEO of Australia for Dolphins, Sarah Lucas, “The capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji is one of the worst acts of animal cruelty imaginable. The brutal killing method would not be accepted in any regulated slaughterhouse in the world – including in Japan.”

In the last few weeks Australia for Dolphins has collected more than 120,000 signatures from concerned individuals demanding the Governor of Wakayama cancel the dolphin hunting permit and end the bloodbath in Taiji. The campaign has been supported by a number of prominent Australians, including Isabel Lucas, Pat Rafter, and Ita Buttrose.

Please call on the Wakayama Governor to cancel the dolphin hunting permit now.

This is clearly an issue thousands of people feel strongly about, which is why Australia for Dolphins is planning to launch world-first legal action against the Japanese government, challenging the legality of the dolphin hunts under animal cruelty law.

Hunting dolphins is not part of Japanese culture or tradition. This is a greedy business that makes a few local hunters and dolphin brokers wealthy. According to Taiji’s own historical records, the hunt only started in 1969, in response to demand from aquariums.

Now a trained dolphin captured off the coast of Japan can fetch upwards of $100,000, and the live dolphin trade in Taiji brings in more than $5 million every year. Dolphin hunters are not poor people struggling to feed their families – they turn up for ‘work’ in luxury sports cars, paid for with the blood of dolphins.

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In comparison, the dead carcass of a dolphin fetches just $500. It’s abundantly clear that the meat is a by-product of the aquarium trade.

Earlier this year Australia for Dolphins launched legal action aimed at Japanese aquariums that purchase dolphins captured in the hunts. It resulted in a ban, which successfully eliminated more than half the market.

“The recent legal win banning Japanese aquariums from purchasing Taiji dolphins is a great first step,” Ms. Lucas states.

“We have managed to eliminate half the market for wild-caught Taiji dolphins. Without demand, the hunts wont continue.”

Please add your voice to the global petition and call on the Governor to cancel the dolphin hunting permit.