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20 June 2008 - US House Passes Resolution Protecting Whales      

U.S. House Passes Resolution Protecting Whales

Washington, 20 June 2008

The Humane Society of the United States and its international arm Humane Society International applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for taking a strong position against commercial whaling. The House today passed House Resolution 350, which calls on the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to remain firmly opposed to commercial whaling in all its forms. The meeting takes place next week in Santiago, Chile.

"Passage of this resolution sends a strong message to the Administration that the American people want whales protected, period," said Kitty Block, Vice President of Humane Society International.  "It is more critical now than ever that the United States remain firmly opposed to any proposals to resume even a limited level of commercial whaling."

The resolution further urges the United States to take steps to end the killing of whales under the guise of lethal scientific research and to prevent the sale of whale meat from these hunts. The passage of this resolution comes at a critical time. Next week, representatives from 80 countries will discuss the plight of whales worldwide. 

U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-W. Va.), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, who sponsored the resolution, said, "It is more critical now than ever that the U.S. maintain its leadership role in shaping global whale conservation policies through the IWC.  The American people strongly oppose commercial whaling of any kind, and the Administration must not undo more than 20 years of whale conservation by yielding to a few nations who threaten to leave the IWC. Conserving them for future generations requires us to uphold strong international agreements and maintain an unwavering commitment to protect these magnificent species from killing for commercial gain."

The United States, which was once a leader in whale protection at the IWC, has lost its resolve to stand strong for whales and as a result its influence within the IWC has waned. In recent years the U.S. government has considered   lifting the current moratorium on commercial whaling in an effort to seek a compromise with Japan..

Whales are some of the largest and most intelligent mammals on Earth. Protecting and conserving them requires us to uphold strong international agreements and maintain an unwavering commitment to protecting these species from killing for commercial gain.  

Also working hard on behalf of whales recently were Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) and Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, (D-Guam).

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