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Japanese whaling: Aust Govt closer to legal action

Government moves closer to legal action against Japanese whaling

The Senate has unanimously passed a motion by Senator Rachel Siewert calling on the Government to "urgently consider legal proceedings against this 'unlawful' whaling."

"I am pleased the Senate supported this motion, it has been clear to me for some time that Australia is going to have to pursue legal action to halt whaling."

"It now appears that Government is taking more seriously the legal options put to it by groups such as the International Fund for Animal
Welfare (IFAW) which has obtained legal advice indicating that Japanese whaling is unlawful," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Despite Environment Minister Ian Campbell's best intentions, we may be headed for a diplomatic loss to pro-whaling nations in the International Whaling Commission. Either way, it is now clear that the diplomatic path must be backed by legal action in the same way Australia and New Zealand successfully fought Japanese fishing of southern bluefin tuna in 1999.

"I wish Minister Campbell well in the IWC later this week," Senator Siewert said, "and hope that his commitment to whales extends to pursuing all legal avenues to stop this barbaric hunt."

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