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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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Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

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News Shorts
AHDB Pork calls for stepped-up biosecurity

Pig farmers are being urged to step up biosecurity to reduce the risk of swine dysentery in their herds.

According to Farmers Weekly, AHDB Pork have confirmed cases in the north and east of the UK and is calling on producers to focus on hygiene to protect their animals.

Members of the AHDB Pork Significant diseases charter are reported to have been informed of the outbreaks.