If whales could scream

Britain's Sun newspaper isn't normally a place I'd look for conservation stories, but just run one on Japan now planning to kill Humpback Whales for "science".

By GRANT ROLLINGS AFTER being hunted close to extinction the majestic humpback whale was beginning to make a welcome comeback thanks to 20 years of protection. But now Japan is going to slaughter these awe-inspiring 65-ton gentle giants again, supposedly for scientific reasons, putting the survival of the species in peril. Leading naturalist Sir David Attenborough and other whale experts have made a heartfelt plea to stop this barbarity. And The Sun has obtained harrowing undercover footage which proves that whales suffer a torturous and lingering death when they have been harpooned. The images, filmed by the World Society for the Protection of Animals and the Environmental Investigation Agency, show a Norwegian ship firing a grenade-tipped harpoon into a minke whale. The whale takes two-and-a-half agonising minutes to die. Others can take more than AN HOUR. Even the Norwegians admit that around 20 per cent of whales fail to be killed straight away. Japan has reported that almost 60 per cent are not killed outright. Sir David is appalled. He is supporting a campaign by Whalewatch, a coalition of more than 140 non-governmental organisations in more than 55 countries, to ban all commercial and scientific whaling on the grounds of cruelty. ... Chris Butler-Stroud, chief executive of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: “Of all the animals I have seen, one of the most graceful and stunning creatures has to be the magnificent humpback whale...

If whales could scream

As may get impression that "Japan" is all bad here, I sent this to the Sun: Japan also has whale-watching tours. Are conservationists there, too. So I'd figure there are also plenty of Japanese who oppose killing humpback whales. Obstinate sorts in favour; for - I've heard - a "tradition" of eating whale meat that dates only from around Second World War. (killing for "science" indeed a sick joke)

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