DawnWatch: Wash Post front page on dolphin slaughter — 11/20/06

November 20th, 2006 10:05 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Nov 20, 2006 7:07 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Wash Post front page on dolphin slaughter — 11/20/06

The front page of the Monday, November 20, Washington Post demonstrates the positive effect of all those animal intelligence tests we have been reading about. It includes an article by Rick Weiss headed, “Intelligence Of Dolphins Cited in Fight Against Hunt. Others See Equal Weight In the Value of Tradition.”

The piece opens:

“A coalition of marine scientists has launched a campaign to halt Japan’s annual ‘dolphin drive,’ in which thousands of bottlenose dolphins are herded into shallow coves to be slaughtered with knives and clubs.

“The government-sanctioned event, which extends through the fall and winter, has been under fire for years from environmental and animal rights activists.

“But in a potentially influential escalation of that battle, mainstream scientists and administrators of zoos and aquariums — some of whom have been criticized for buying surviving dolphins for use in their shows — have united to condemn the practice.

“The campaign pits the emerging science of animal intelligence against a centuries-old cultural tradition.

“In an online statement being released today, the organizers — including many of the world’s leading dolphin scientists and the man who trained the television star Flipper — say the hunt is nothing less than a ritual massacre of creatures that, according to a growing body of research, are not just intelligent but sophisticatedly self-aware.

“The statement calls for the Japanese government to stop issuing permits allowing the hunt and for a halt to the purchase of dolphins caught in the drive. It also aims to get 1 million people to sign an online petition to the government.”

(The live dolphins purchased end up in marine parks and swim-with-dolphin programs often frequented by Western tourists.)

We read details of the kill:

“Most fishermen use knives to cause them to bleed to death, turning the waters red.

“Sometimes live dolphins are hoisted on ropes tied around their tail fins, said Paul Boyle, a former director of the New York Aquarium and now chief executive of the Ocean Project, an umbrella organization for more than 800 institutions worldwide working to increase awareness of oceanic issues through collaborations with zoos and museums.

“Dolphins are essentially weightless in water but weigh as much as 800 pounds on land, Boyle said. When they are hung, their backbones, which resemble human spines, are wrenched apart.

“‘It must be excruciatingly painful,’ Boyle said, noting that humans complain bitterly when experiencing pain from a ruptured disc in the spine. ‘When we show people video from past events, every person has the same response. They say it is the most inhumane thing they have ever seen.'”

The article tells us:

“Details, including the citizens petition and a statement from scientists, are being posted at http://www.actfordolphins.org .”

Please sign! And please forward to others.

You can read the whole article on line here OR http://tinyurl.com/ykg7hb

At the bottom of the article is a spot where you can post a comment.

And you can send a letter to the Post, appreciative of the front page coverage, and discussing whatever aspect of human treatment of other species you are moved to discuss.

The Post takes letters at letters [at] washpost.com and advises, “Please do not send attachments; they will not be read. Letters must be exclusive to The Washington Post, and must include the writer’s home address and home and business telephone numbers.”

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To discontinue, go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php. You are encouraged to forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts but please do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)



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