Parliament compels Minister to oppose resumption of whaling

18 March 2008

Parliament compels Minister to oppose resumption of whaling

Parliament today adopted with cross-party support a proposal from SP animal welfare specialist Krista van Velzen which will compel Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg to support in its entirety the existing moratorium on the hunting of whales. Verburg had declared her intention to develop a joint proposal with Japan, Iceland and Norway which would permit whaling in a limited number of areas.

Krista van Velzen“Japan has been going against the existing agreement for years and continues, under the guise of 'scientific research', to hunt whales.” said Van Velzen “It's incredibly naïve of the minister to assume that if we allow their whalers into a limited area, Japan will suddenly start to stick to the agreements.”

As a result of Van Velzen's motion, the minister, despite her previous announcements, will be obliged to present the case, in the coming negotiations in Chile, for maintaining the moratorium. In addition, she will have to come up with proposals for additional measures, including sanctions, to protect whales and punish any countries which try to evade the moratorium.

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