Target: Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)
Goal: End cruel dolphin drive hunts
Drive hunts in Japan’s Taiji cove have slaughtered thousands of dolphins. These hunts involve creating a wall of sound to disorient the pods, which forces them to swim into the cove where they are wrangled and netted. Most of the captured dolphins are butchered for their meat; others are sold to aquariums around the world. While the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) says that they officially oppose this cruel practice, they are still on good terms with the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA). If hunters in Japan continue to acquire dolphins from these brutal drive hunts, JAZA should be expelled from WAZA.
The original goal of these hunts was to use these animals as showpieces in the Taiji Whale Museum. WAZA has stated that it opposes the cruel practice of the drive hunts; however, even with the appallingly cruel methods of capture, JAZA and the Taiji Whale Museum remain in good standing with WAZA. WAZA Executive Director Dr. Gerald Dick has previously cited Japanese tradition as being the reason his organization turns a blind eye to these practices. However, according to the town’s written history, this “tradition” has been carried out for only 45 years.
WAZA assembled a meeting with JAZA representatives in August to discuss the Taiji drive hunts. While WAZA is trying to negotiate ways to stop the hunts altogether, JAZA is still participating in these live collections. Sign this petition to demand that WAZA revoke JAZA’s accreditation until it stops collecting dolphins taken from drive hunts and drops the Taiji Whale Museum’s membership.
Dear Dr. Dick,
As the Executive Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, you have a great responsibility to ensure that all of your members strictly follow your Code of Ethics for treating animals without exception. The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums has been allowed to carry on collecting dolphins from horrific drive hunts. This disgusting practice should not be encouraged or tolerated by any member of WAZA. JAZA’s President, His Imperial Highness, Prince Akishino, has been permitted to continue to defy the Code of Ethics citing Japanese “tradition” as his primary reason for refusing to take action. Taiji authorities have claimed that the drive hunts had been going on for over 400 years. However, according to their own written history, this practice has only been going on for 45 years. This is hardly a tradition.
We understand that you have recently met with JAZA regarding the dolphin drive hunts and that you are trying to negotiate ways to stop them altogether. We applaud this effort, however, it is not enough. I demand that you revoke JAZAs membership until they stop collecting dolphins from these cruel drive hunts and remove the Taiji Whale Museum’s membership.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gary Chandler via Meetup