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24 July 2007 - Japan killed 263 pregnant whales in Antarctic waters HSI back in the Federal Court       

Japan killed 263 pregnant whales in Antarctic waters HSI back in the Federal Court

Sydney, 24 July 2007                        
                                                                                                                                                   

Humane Society International (HSI) has reviewed the Japanese reports from their most recent 2006/07 whale hunt in Antarctic waters and found that over half those killed were pregnant.

Of the 505 Antarctic minke whales killed in Antarctic waters last summer, 262 of them were pregnant females, while one of the three fin whales killed was also pregnant.

"These are gruesome statistics that the Japanese Government dresses up as science", said HSI's Nicola Beynon.

HSI reviewed the reports in preparation for our court case against the Japanese whalers, which resumes in the Federal Court of Australia this morning.

At today's hearing we expect the Court to set a date for the full hearing. The full hearing will be to determine whether Japanese whalers are in breach of Australian law when they hunt whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica and whether the Court will issue an injunction for the hunt to be stopped. HSI will ask for the final hearing to be held as soon as possible before the hunt starts up again this summer. It has been 3 years since HSI launched the case and many hurdles have been overcome to get to this point.

"It horrifies Australians to know that pregnant humpback whales breeding in the warm waters off Australia this winter will be targeted by the Japanese hunters in Antarctic waters this Christmas", Ms Beynon said.

Japan has issued its whaling company with permits to kill 935 minke whales, 50 fin whales and 50 humpback whales in Antarctic waters this summer and, based on their past hunting grounds, we expect 90% of the hunt to be conducted within the Australian Whale Sanctuary, and a large proportion of the females to be pregnant. 

HSI will ask the Federal Court to order a stop to the carnage in the Australian Whale Sanctuary once and for all.

Note:

A Directions Hearing will be held in the Federal Court in Sydney at 9.30am Tuesday 24th July to set a date for the final hearing. HSI spokespeople will be available for interview about the recent findings of pregnant whale deaths outside the Federal Court at 10.30am. Further information on the HSI case against Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd is available at www.hsi.org.au  





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