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28 May 2010 - Australia to seek justice for whales      

Australia to seek justice for whales

28 May 2010                                          

Humane Society International (HSI) applauds the Rudd Government and Minister Peter Garrett for moving forward with an international court case against Japan for abusing their rights under the Whaling Convention.

HSI lawyers first put forward the idea for this case 10 years ago and we will be very pleased to see it finally launched it court.  “It is high time the Japanese Government was brought to account for commercially hunting whales in defiance of the global ban. We commend the Australian Government for seeking justice for the whales in The Hague”, said Nicola Beynon, HSI Senior Program Manager.

We assert that Japan has been abusing their rights under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling since 1987 when they first embarked on ‘scientific whaling’ to circumvent the global moratorium on commercial whaling that came into force in 1986. The Japanese Government now issues itself ‘scientific permits’ to kill up to 935 minke whale sand 50 fins whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary every year and up to 220 minke whales, 100 sei whales and 10 sperm whales in the North Pacific.

Some governments at the International Whaling Commission are prepared to capitulate to Japan and legitimise the so-called scientific hunts, making commercial whaling legal again under a ‘compromise’ that has been drawn up. Under the so-called compromise the commercial whale hunts that have been conducted in defiance of the global ban would be allowed to continue with impunity and that is unacceptable. The compromise proposed would not remove the scientific whaling loophole and HSI is calling for the compromise to be rejected at the IWC meeting in June.

“With the future for whales looking grim at the International Whaling Commission, HSI  is very pleased the Australian Government is prepared to argue for an end to commercial whale hunts conducted through the scientific loophole in the International Court of Justice at The Hague”, concluded Ms Beynon. 

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