DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter linked with Swim with Dolphin programs in UK’s Independent — Sunday, January 14, 2007

January 15th, 2007 3:47 pm by Kelly Garbato

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From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jan 15, 2007 1:10 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter linked with Swim with Dolphin programs in UK’s Independent — Sunday, January 14, 2007

The UK’s Independent continues its coverage of Japan’s dolphin slaughter — still largely ignored in the US press. An article by Jonathon Owen in the Independent on Sunday — January 14, 2007 — is headed, “£25,000; What brutal hunters in Japan charge for catching a dolphin; ‘Swimming with dolphins’ craze helps to fund a bloody and illegal slaughter.”

It focuses on the link between dolphin slaughter and dolphins as human entertainment.

It tells us:

“More than 20,000 whales and dolphins are killed along Japan’s coastline every year but the most notorious of the hunts is the ‘drive fishery’ near the village of Taiji. Fewer than 30 fishermen are behind an annual hunt in which dolphins are chased into shallow waters and then stabbed to death. The few that are spared are then sold on to the highest bidder.

Ric O’Barry, Flipper’s trainer turned dolphin rescuer is quoted: “‘Leading aquariums and swim-with-dolphin dealers are subsidising the Japan dolphin slaughter by paying £25,000 or more for a few show dolphins from the catch.”

And we read:

“Ocean World Adventure Park – a million-pound tourist resort in the Dominican Republic where visitors spend more than £60 a time to swim with captive dolphins – has placed a £300,000 order for 12 bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins, dubbed the ‘Taiji 12’, were taken in what he says is one of the most violent and brutal captures that he has ever seen.

“A report released last year by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society reveals that dozens of dolphins captured in Japan’s annual “drive fisheries” – and then spared – have ended up in aquariums around the world.

You’ll find the whole article on line here.

You can send a letter to the editor to letters [at] independent.co.uk.

And please, use this information for letters to your own papers when you see articles on the pleasures of viewing or swimming with captive animals as entertainment.

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.)

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