LONDON, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An international panel of
independent legal experts convened in London has today issued a detailed
report challenging the legal status of Japan's whaling operations,
particularly the taking of endangered sei and humpback whales. The expert
panel also recommends actions to be taken against the Government of Japan
for its violations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Today's report, dubbed the London Report on Illegal Whaling, comes as
the Government of Japan prepares to launch its whaling fleet into
international waters later this week. Its dramatic findings add to a
growing body of legal opinion sharply critical of Japan's expanding whaling
operations. Since an international ban on commercial whaling was first
imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986, Japan has
argued its ongoing whaling is conducted for "scientific" purposes.
The London Report finds Japan's current and proposed takings of
humpback and sei whales as well as other whale species "are for primarily
commercial purposes" and "plainly constitute international trade." Japan
has previously announced it intends to kill more than 1,400 whales this
year including 100 sei whales and 50 humpback whales, a species protected
from commercial hunting for more than 40 years.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org), which
commissioned the independent legal review, says the time has come for
decisive action to end Japan's expanding whaling program. "Some of the
world's top legal experts have made the case. Japan's whaling is not just
cruel, it's criminal. It is time for the international community to act to
end this illegal activity," said Patrick Ramage IFAW Global Whale Program
Ambassador Alberto Szekely, an international law Professor who served
as coordinator of the London Panel and related expert panels convened in
Paris and Sydney last year said "Japan's repeated assertion that its
whaling activities are legal is incorrect and misleading. "Scientific
whaling" as conducted by Japan violates international law and should not be
allowed to continue."
To learn more about IFAW's global campaign to protect whales, and how
you can join this important campaign, visit www.ifaw.org today.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW is an international animal welfare and
conservation organization that works to protect wild and domestic animals
and to broker solutions that benefit both animals and people. With offices
in 15 countries around the world, IFAW works to protect whales, elephants,
great apes, big cats, dogs and cats, seals, and other animals.
SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare