Target: Lee Ehmke, President, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Goal: Applaud the suspension of Japan’s World Zoo Association membership due to Taiji dolphin slaughter.
In response to the annual mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) has been suspended from the world’s premiere zoo organization. The council of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) unanimously voted to withhold the membership due to concerns about JAZA’s involvement in the brutal hunts. The international organization alleged that JAZA allows its members to obtain dolphins for captivity during the annual Taiji event, and that the Japanese organization refused a request for a two-year moratorium on the hunt.
Thousands of dolphins are killed each year in the coastal town of Taiji by a group of fishermen who herd them toward land and trap them in a cove overnight. In the morning, when the animals have exhausted themselves, the fishermen drive spikes through their spines to kill them. While the blow is designed to instantly sever the spinal cord, bad aim and carelessness results in many of the animals bleeding out slowly. According to veterinarians, this killing method causes extreme terror and pain and would be illegal if used on any other animal.
While most of the dolphins are killed for human consumption, several dozen are caught and transported to aquariums and zoos where they live the remainder of their lives in captivity. Several JAZA member facilities house dolphins, porpoises, and other sea mammals caught during the Taiji slaughter, in direct breach of WAZA policies against “cruel and non-selective methods of taking animals from the wild.”
The suspension of Japan’s World Association of Zoos and Aquariums membership is a huge blow to one of the world’s largest dolphin trades, and will force the country to look closer at how the Taiji slaughter is viewed by the international community. Sign the petition below to thank WAZA for taking a stand against the barbaric mass slaughter of dolphins.
Dear Mr. Lee Ehmke,
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the most prestigious international zoo organization, has suspended the membership of their Japanese chapter due to the continued atrocities in Taiji. Each year, fishermen brutally kill thousands of dolphins, while trapping hundreds more and forcing them into captivity.
By suspending the membership, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums is taking a stand against one of the world’s largest dolphin meat operations. We, the undersigned, thank you for standing against the barbaric and torturous Taiji dolphin hunt.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Porkeri via Creative Commons