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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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News Shorts
NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”