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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
13 August 2000 Issue

Japanese Whale-Killing Begins
August 11 - U.S. Newswire

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 7.3 million members and constituents, condemns Japan for killing a Bryde's whale and continuing with an expanded hunt to target not only minke whales but Bryde's and endangered sperm whales despite threats of trade sanctions from the U.S. and appeals from world leaders and environmental groups.

The HSUS is calling on President Clinton to enforce these threats and not let Japan continue to kill these whales for "scientific" purposes that can be pursued through non-lethal means. For years, the Japanese have been hunting minke whales under the guise of scientific research despite the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) repeated condemnation, and now Japan has taken its disregard for the whales one step further. On Aug. 3, The HSUS sent President Clinton a letter urging him to impose trade sanctions against Japan under the Pelly Amendment, because the country's refusal to abandon the expansion of its scientific whaling program undermines the international treaty that regulates whale management. Now that the Japanese press reports that the whaling fleet has been successful in killing a Bryde's whale, it is imperative that the U.S. follow through on its threats.

"They stepped over the line when they killed this Bryde's whale," said Dr. Naomi Rose, HSUS Marine Mammal Scientist. "Japan exploits the IWC's loophole on hunting for scientific purposes, and now the U.S. must follow through on trade sanctions or Japan will rightfully ignore the U.S. and its empty threats in the future," she said.

It is reported that six Japanese whaling ships are targeting 100 minke, 50 Bryde's and 10 sperm whales for this hunt. The sperm whale is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Bryde's whale, while not on the endangered species list, is recognized as a species in need of protection, particularly under international trade regulations.

"The population status of the Bryde's whale is unknown," Rose said. "No country should be hunting a species when its status is unknown. That's an outdated and dangerous conservation practice." Media Note: Copies of the letter to President Clinton are available on the HSUS web site at www.hsus.org or from the media contacts listed.
Source: wcca@olypen.com (Dan Spomer)

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