In response to the shocking slaughter of 267 pilot whales in Fuglafjørður, Faroe Islands, on July 30, following a kill of 125 the week before, a coalition of 13 international organisations including EIA have written to Faroe Islands Prime Minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen and Minister of Fisheries Jacob Vestergaard to register their extreme concern about the continued cruel and unnecessary killing of pilot whales.
The letter was also sent to the Chair of the Pilot Whalers Association and the local Chiefs of Police, all of whom have responsibilities for the hunts.
You can read the letter in full here. The signatory organisations are EIA, Animal Welfare Institute, Campaign Whale, Cetacean Society International, Dansk Dyreværn Århus, De Vilde Delfiner, Dyrenes Venner, GSM (Society for the Conservation of Marine Mammals), Humane Society International, Ocean Care, Pro Wildlife, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and World Society for the Protection of Animals.
The letter highlighted the mistakes made by those responsible for the conduct of Fuglafjørður hunt, mistakes which led to chaotic scenes of appalling cruelty and which expose the inherent problems associated with trying to achieving a quick, clean kill.
New regulations governing the hunt will be introduced on May 1, 2015 and the NGOs criticise the two-year wait for participants in the driving and killing of pilot whales to receive obligatory certification following training. They note that the introduction of new implements used to secure and kill the whales will not be effective in reducing suffering. Indeed, they have already been criticised by a panel of pro-whaling experts.
The authors of the letter question the continued hunting of these creatures in the Faroe Islands and call for an end to pilot whaling, an activity that belongs only in history books, particularly as the pilot whales are so contaminated with toxic pollutants that the Faroese Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientist have warned that Faroese people should not eat the their meat and blubber.
Since the letters were sent, EIA has learnt that a further 100 whales were slaughtered in the Faroe Islands in yet another kill on August 8, 2013.
• If you want to help play a part in calling on the Government of the Faroe Islands to put an end whaling, please visit our Action Alert page here for a sample protest letter and addresses for the Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries.