DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter underway — Independent, Saturday January 6

January 8th, 2007 6:19 pm by Kelly Garbato

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From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jan 8, 2007 1:20 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter underway — Independent, Saturday January 6

Sad news to come back to is that Japan’s annual dolphin has begun. The Independent (London) covered it on Saturday, January 6, in an article, by David McNeill, headed, “Bloodbath: Japan’s dolphin cull gets underway.”

We learn that in Taiji, “Perhaps 2,000 small whales and striped, bottlenose, spotted and Risso’s dolphins have been slaughtered for meat that ends up on the tables of local homes and restaurants, and in vacuum-packed bags in supermarkets. By the end of March, many more will go the same way, part of what is probably the largest annual cull of cetaceans – about 26,000 around coastal Japan, according to environmentalists – in the world.”

We read:

“The hunts are notoriously brutal, and blue tarpaulin sheets block the main viewing spots overlooking the cove where the killings take place, to prevent photographs being taken. Beyond the cove, small boats surround a pod of migrating dolphins, lower metal poles into the sea and bang them to frighten the animals and disrupt their sonar. Once the panicking, thrashing dolphins are herded into the narrow cove, the fishermen attack them with knives, turning the sea red before dragging them to a harbourside warehouse for slaughter.

One dolphin hunter reminded us, “If you walked into an American slaughterhouse for cows, it wouldn’t look very pretty either.”

We are also reminded about the links to the animal entertainment business: “The trainers here help sort the ‘best-looking’ dolphins from the kill, and train them for use in circuses and aquariums across Asia and Europe.”

The article discusses the work of Ric O’ Barry who trained the five dolphins that played Flipper in the Sixties television series before turning against dolphin captivity in 1970. You can find out more at http://www.SaveJapanDolphins.org

You’ll find the full article from The Independent on line here.

We can keep a discussion of the way we treat other species alive on the editorial pages with letters to the editor. Send them to letters [at] independent.co.uk.

Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor.

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. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)

To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php

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