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Japan to resume commercial whaling
It has been reported that Japan intends to target minke, sei and Bryde’s whales, but it is not clear how many of each species will be taken.
Conservationists and politicians condemn the move 

Japan’s decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume commercial whaling sets a “dangerous example”, conservationists have said.

Commercial whaling was banned in 1982 after it became clear that the number of whales being killed was unsustainable and jeopardised populations.

Japan has since continued to hunt whales for ‘research purposes’ - utilising a loophole in the ban. However, the country’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, has confirmed that commercial hunts will start again in July 2019, in Japan’s territorial waters and its exclusive economic zone.

The move has been widely condemned by conservationists and politicians alike. Environment minister Michael Gove said in a tweet that he was ‘extremely disappointed’, adding: ‘The UK is strongly opposed to commercial whaling and will continue to fight for the protection and welfare of these majestic animals.’

Astrid Fuchs, programme lead at Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) said it was “devastating news for the whales” and warned that the decision could “destroy all the progress that has been made internationally in order to protect and conserve the great whale species”.

She added: “The moratorium on commercial whaling is one of the biggest achievements of modern conservation. By resuming whaling outside IWC oversight Japan sets a dangerous example.

“Many whale species are still struggling to recover from the effects of the mass slaughter that was industrial whaling in the 20th century. All whale populations are already under threat from issues like climate change, pollution, entanglement and habitat degradation. The last thing they need is a resumption of large scale whaling.”

It has been reported that Japan intends to target minke, sei and Bryde’s whales, but it is not clear how many of each species will be taken.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”