Court asked to stop dolphin hunts in Wakayama town

A court in Wakayama Prefecture began hearing arguments Friday over whether dolphin hunting violates animal cruelty laws. The plaintiffs are asking the district court to stop the permits from being issued.
Wakayama Gov Yoshinobu Nisaka issues the permits for the village of Taiji, where the hunts have drawn protests.
The 2009 Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" showed the village's hunts, where dolphins were chased into a cove and bludgeoned to death, turning the waters blood red. In recent years, they changed their hunting method to suffocation.
The plaintiffs, a former Taiji resident and activist Ren Yabuki, and supporters of the case say the killings remain traumatic and painful, despite the new method.
Wakayama conservation official Takashi Ueda declined comment on the case but stressed that the prefecture believes the hunts follow the law.
The case does not demand monetary damages but could set a precedent in contesting the legality of the killing, according to Takashi Takano, the lawyer for the plaintiffs. "If these people can't contest the permit, then who can," he told The Associated Press.
Taiji officials and fishermen have defended the hunt as tradition. However, the hunts are also lucrative in that some dolphins are sold into captivity at aquariums and marine shows.
Besides the dolphin issue, Taiji is expected to be one of the Pacific coastal towns joining the whaling fleet after the Japanese government pulls out of the International Whaling Commission. Whalers are making plans to resume commercial hunting in July, for the first time in three decades.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Июль 2020    »