International Whaling Commission rejects Japan’s revised scientific whaling program

On 13 April 2015 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) released a report finding that Japan’s revised scientific whaling program provided no justification for the slaughter of whales for its purported scientific objectives. The IWC report concluded that Japan had not demonstrated that the culling of up to 333 minke whales a year for 12 years was necessary to meet the research objectives of obtaining more precise information on minkes, should the global moratorium on commercial whaling ever be lifted, and investigating the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

Japan was forced to suspend its scientific whaling program following the landmark International Court of Justice (ICJruling in 2014 that Japan was conducting commercial whaling under the guise of a scientific program in contravention of the 1987 IWC moratorium on commercial whaling.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe commented after the ICJ decision that Japan was committed to pursuing Antarctic whaling, and Japan’s commissioner to the IWC, Joji Morishita, has indicated that Japan will continue to pursue a scientific whaling program despite the IWC report.

See more on this topic here (The Guardian) and here (Stuff.co.nz).

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Mulesing

Mulesing is performed annually on over 20 million Australian Merino lambs. It involves taking a crescent-shaped slice of skin (5-7 cm) from either buttock (the ‘breach’) of a sheep, without anaesthetic, and results in abnormal behaviour for up to three days.

Despite industry’s promise to phase-out mulesing by 2010, many retailers throughout Europe have boycotted Australian wool due to overwhelming consumer concern.

More humane alternatives to surgical mulesing, such as intradermal injections prompting fleece to fall away from the breach (permanently) through a process of necrosis, are currently not receiving the support they require from Australia’s wool industry.


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