Act Now to Help End Japanese Dolphin Drive Hunting
Dr. Lori Marino, a colleague of mine at Emory University, sent out a call for action to end the Japanese drive hunts that annually kill dolphins and small whales. I got it relayed from Dr. Brenda McCowan at UC Davis. The short version is that scientists and zoological park staff have gotten together to condemn Japan's small cetacean drive hunts and are looking to collect a million signatures on a petition to try to get it shut down before the next scheduled drive hunts this coming October.
The petition site is ActForDolphins.org. Please visit it soon.
I've converted the three MS Word documents that I received as attachments to the safer and more portable Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
I'm proud to say to two of my committee members, Bill Evans and Sam Ridgway, are on the "Statements" page above.
I'll append the text of the email I got.
From: Lori Marino
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2006 2:18 PM
Subject: I urgently need your help on this issue!
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I have been working with several leading colleagues in the marine mammal
scientific community towards ending an astonishingly cruel practice that
occurs annually in Japan. These are the Japanese dolphin drive hunts.
Occurring annually from October to April, the dolphin hunts are conducted by
small groups of Japanese fishermen and are subsidized by the Japanese
Government. During the hunts, fishermen herd hundreds, sometimes thousands,
of dolphins and other small cetaceans into shallow bays by banging on
partially submerged rods that create a sonic barrier. Once there, the
dolphins are corralled into nets and then speared, hooked, and hoisted into
the air by their tails. The animals are then slaughtered in an unimaginably
brutal manner. The dolphins are hacked to death or eviscerated alive, and
many are left to die a long and excruciating death. The water in the coves
turns red with their blood as whole groups of dolphins are decimated. The
Japanese government profits from the hunts by selling the dolphins as pet
food, fertilizer, and human food. (Most Japanese people are not
interested in eating dolphins so the meat is exported to other countries in
Asia). This is not a subsistence hunt and the dolphin meat is polluted with
high levels of toxins. Furthermore, those dolphins not killed are taken
into the Asian captive entertainment industry usually to die soon afterwards
from stress-induced illness or injury.
This week my colleagues and I held a press conference at the National
Press Club in DC in an unprecedented call by the scientific community to end
these drives before they start again this October. We argue from our
collective scientific knowledge about dolphin intelligence, cognition, and
social complexity that dolphins are capable of feeling and understanding the
full devastating impact of the drives and therefore the drives are a
stunning violation of any reasonable animal welfare criteria. I have
attached the Call for Action, press release, and statements by each of the
participants, for your information.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
AMONG OTHER THINGS, WE HAVE CREATED A WEBSITE PETITION THAT WE WILL BRING
TO THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT. Our goal is to obtain 1 million signatures!
PLEASE TAKE THIS VERY SIMPLE STEP, SIGN OUR PETITION AND JOIN US. ALL
INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT IS SENSITIVE TO PUBLICITY ABOUT
THIS ISSUE AND WE ARE AT A CRITICAL TIPPING POINT IN OUR EFFORTS!
<>And please forward this message to your own group of friends and
You can contact me with questions, concerns, or more information.>
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!