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There is no Humane Way to Kill a Whale at Sea

Japan Inadvertently Concedes There is no Humane Way to Kill a Whale at Sea

As Japan prepares to hunt whales once again in the Southern Ocean, the world’s largest alliance of animal protection groups has highlighted remarks from a Japanese whaling-based association to show there is simply no humane way to kill a whale.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) cites an admission by Japan’s own Institute of Cetacean Research that it is impossible to accurately shoot at a moving target at sea.

The admission came in a press release issued by the Japanese ‘scientific whaling’ body in response to Animal Planet’s Whale Wars TV series, which started in the US earlier this week. In the release, the Institute broadly denies shooting at an activist on the deck of the Sea Shepherd vessel, explaining that such a feat would be beyond their abilities.

“It would be extraordinarily difficult for one party to shoot accurately at another from a range of approximately 150 yards when both are on moving platforms (and) there are difficult weather conditions (wind and sea spray).”

WSPA New Zealand’s Programmes Manager Bridget Vercoe said: “WSPA is pleased that the Institute of Cetacean Research has finally come to agree that whaling is a haphazard activity based more on luck than judgement.

“Our scientific report Troubled Waters proves unequivocally that there is simply no humane way to kill whales at sea. Of the nearly one thousand whales that Japan will slaughter over the next two months only around 40% will die within 10 seconds – that means over 600 whales suffering from horrific harpoon wounds, some for over an hour. This cruel slaughter may be out of sight but it is certainly not out of mind: the international community demands an end to this outdated and unnecessary practice.”


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