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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Almost 100 whales slaughtered in Faroe Islands

The Welsh women's football team may just have hammered the Faroe Islands six-nil in an international game but surely there is a case to ban these islands from any and all international sport, and impose sanctions upon them until they stop the so-called traditional hunt and slaughter of pilot whales, an endangered species.

The Independent reports that a total of 94 long finned pilot whales, including four calves and at least five pregnant mothers, were dragged ashore and killed on the beach at the town of Vestmanna:

According to marine conservation charity Sea Shepherd, which has documented the slaughter, the grindadrap hunt - more commonly known as "the grind", “involved over five hours of Faroese boats harassing and chasing the pod”.

"The killing took around 12 minutes with the stressed and exhausted pilot whales of all ages being killed indiscriminately in front of their family members until all were left silent on the blood red sands of Vestmanna," the charity said.

Photographs the charity posted to its Instagram page show unborn baby whales still inside their amniotic sacs, and others show the carcasses of butchered whales being offloaded back into the sea by large diggers.

The traditional hunt has been taking place since Norsemen first settled on the islands over a thousand years ago. 

And this is not even a seasonal thing, the paper quotes Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson and chief operating officer Rob Read as reporting that the hunts “can happen at any time, at any one of the 26 designated killing bays around the Faroe Islands…. with no season, no quota, a lack of effective regulation and despite pilot whale meat being heavily contaminated”.

He added: “Every member of every pod [of pilot whales and dolphins] is killed including pregnant mothers, juveniles and weaning babies. None are ever spared”.

They say that the slaughter at Vestmanna is the eleventh hunt on the Faroe islands this year - with more than 600 pilot whales slaughtered so far in 2019.  Isn't it time international pressure put an end to this?
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