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Commercial whaling resumes in Japan
"If they want to continue whaling, Sea Shepherd will continue to stand with the global community that wants to see an end to whaling."
Move criticised by conservationist groups

Commercial whaling has resumed in Japan following the country's decision to leave the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

According to BBC News, five vessels are expected to set sail in July with the whaling taking place within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The move comes after Japan failed to persuade the IWC to allow whale hunting under sustainable quotas.

In the mid-80s, Japan agreed to a temporary ban (or hunting moratorium) to allow whale populations to improve. But it assumed this would remain only until all members of the IWC could agree on sustainable quotas. Instead, the ban became almost permanent.

Under the ban, some nations were allowed to continue whaling for scientific purposes. Japan is believed to have taken advantage of this exception and, since agreeing to the moratorium, has destroyed between 200 and 1200 whales every year.

Japan said the killing was carried out to monitor stocks to determine a sustainable quota. But critics argue this was used as a disguise for Japan to hunt whales for food. Indeed, much of the meat from the killed whales is reported to have been sold.

Conservationist group Greenpeace Japan said in a statement that Japan’s withdrawal from the IWC “is out of step with the international community” and called on the government of Japan to “act urgently to conserve marine ecosystems, rather than resume commercial whaling”.

Sea Shepherd Global CEO Alex Cornelissen also criticised the move, saying: "We see the resumption of Japan's commercial whaling as merely a continuation of the Japanese Government's blatant disregard of international laws and treaties - a fight that we have been leading for over a decade.

'If they want to continue whaling, Sea Shepherd will continue to stand with the global community that wants to see an end to whaling."

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."