Defend dolphins, not a ‘tradition’

Defend dolphins, not a ‘tradition’
from The Japan Times


In mid-January, somewhere between 250 and 500 dolphins were driven into the cove near Taiji, a small town in western Japan made famous in the award-winning film, “The Cove.” There, at least 100 of the dolphins were slaughtered for their meat. Others were packed up and sold to aquariums.

The dolphins are herded, butchered and sold every year, but this year, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, together with CNN news uploaded videos of the dolphin hunt. The video, available online, is not for the faint of heart. Despite claims of humane killing methods, the video shows the fishermen hacking into the heads and backs of the panicked dolphins, then leaving them to bleed to death, turning the entire cove bright red.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended the practice in an interview with CNN and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a news conference that marine mammals including dolphins were “very important water resources.” Suga insisted “Dolphin fishing is one of the traditional fishing forms of our country and is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law.”

Their argument that the force of tradition justifies the herding, capturing and slaughtering of dolphins is a flimsy one. Many past cultural practices, such as slavery, bordellos and beheading were stopped for ethical reasons. Tradition and culture are forces that change in accordance with new scientific understanding and evolving ethical standards. In addition, the Taiji hunt didn’t even become institutionalized on a large scale until 1969, so its roots are quite shallow.

Their argument that the slaughter adheres to principles of the law is equally questionable. Veterinarians and behavioral scientists who viewed the covertly recorded video contend that the killing method used in this year’s Taiji dolphin hunt would not be permitted in any slaughterhouse in the developed world.

Indeed, it is open to question whether the method would be acceptable if used to slaughter cows or other livestock in Japan.

Japanese law states that all methods of killing livestock should reduce the animals’ suffering as much as possible. The method of sending “fishermen” into the water with knives to stab the dolphins, clearly evident in the video, does not begin to meet that guideline. The desperate flailing of the wounded animals and the long time it takes them to die go against the accepted animal welfare standards employed in advanced societies.

Japan has already stopped invasive research and other harmful practices on species such as chimpanzees. Intelligent animal species have always held a special closeness to humans because of their intelligence, capacity for suffering and complex social relations. Dolphins are even known to commit suicide when distressed or confused.

Japan has another tradition, one of deep respect for nature and the creatures in it. That tradition would be much easier to defend. The dolphin hunt is an inhumane practice that should be stopped.

テーマ : 動物愛護
ジャンル : ペット





About Us

Message from Akiko Yui, President and Founder of TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital
I believe that helping animals in need, existing in symbiosis with animals, and fostering a loving heart lead to an improvement in one’s character of kindness and generosity. The killing of animals due to decisions made by administration goes against my firm belief in preventing cruelty to animals. Animal Rescue Fund’s most important goal is to reduce the number of animals killed in Japan to zero by urging administration to change, reform, and improve the prevention of cruelty to animals. In order to reduce the number of animals in need, we work to raise awareness and support for the importance of sterilization operations. Each year, we spay and neuter more than 1000 stray cats. We are always putting animals up for adoption to help those lives already born in finding a loving home.

TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital:
We first opened our TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital in February of 2011 in an effort to make our dream a reality - to lower the number of dogs and cats killed in Japan to zero. At our hospital, we spay and neuter cats to reduce the number of unfortunate stray cats. Our hospital strives to help unfortunate animals in need of medical care.
The lives of numerous pets and livestock were lost as a result of the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan on March 11th 2011 and the radiation disaster caused by the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Animal Rescue Fund goes directly to the 20km evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant to rescue animals.
Animal Rescue Fund is based in Kanagawa Prefecture’s TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital. Therefore, the animals that we rescue from Fukushima Prefecture are brought to TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital located in Kanagawa Prefecture. Here, the rescued animals receive medical care and are returned to their owners or are put up for adoption.
We also work in urging the government and administration of Japan to support the protection of animals in need.





Latest journals
Latest comments
Latest trackbacks
Monthly archive
Search form
Display RSS link.
Friend request form

Want to be friends with this user.