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In Japan, fishers round up and slaughter approximately 23,000 dolphins and small whales each year.
In the small fishing village of Taiji, entire schools of dolphins are driven into a hidden cove after a prolonged chase. Once trapped inside the cove, the fishers kill the dolphins by cutting their throats with knives or stabbing them with spears. The water turns red with the dolphins' blood, and the air is filled with their screams. This horrific massacre goes on for six months every year.
It is commonly assumed that Japanese fishers hunt dolphins to supply a small minority of Japanese people with dolphin meat. But the real reason the Japanese government issues permits to kill dolphins has nothing to do with food culture. As shocking as it sounds, dolphins are viewed as "pests" and are eradicated in huge numbers in order to preserve the ocean's fish for human consumption. What's even more scandalous is that members of the international dolphin-display industry take advantage of the slaughter to obtain animals for use in captive-dolphin shows and swim-with-dolphins programmes.
Please send an e-mail to the Japanese ambassador to the UK urging him to use his influence to help stop the slaughter of dolphins.