Mayor: Gruesome Japanese Dolphin Hunt Will Continue

posted: 05/21/15
by: Danny Clemens
Activists protesting Taiji dolphin drive hunt
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Activists protest the annual Taiji dolphin drive hunt outside of the Japanese consulate in Los Angeles in 2014.

Despite intense international resistance, the controversial annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins in the small town of Taiji, Japan will continue uninhibited, the town's mayor told reporters.

"We are hunting under the permission of the Japanese government and prefecture, and so we will continue to protect our fishermen and the methods. We will not quit," announced Taiji mayor Kazutaka Sangen.

Although politicians and activists around the globe object to the drive, the Japanese government does legally permit the practice, albeit with strict ethical guidelines.

The dolphin hunt takes place annually over the summer, when fishermen herd entire pods of dolphins into a secluded cove. After fisherman close off the entrance to the cove with fishing nets, they kill each dolphin individually by severing their brainstems with a pin, causing near-instant death.

While the majority of the dolphins are killed for their meat, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently came under fire after it was revealed that its member institutions were purchasing live exhibit animals from Taiji fishermen. Facing expulsion from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, aquariums throughout the nation voted earlier this week to acquire their animals from different providers.

Click here for more information from the Washington Post

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