UK whale and dolphin charity ORCA has given a cautious welcome to the 11th-hour decision by Svandís Svavarsdóttir, the Icelandic Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries, to temporarily halt the hunting of fin whales until August 31st. The decision came off the back of an official report which established that the means by which whales were being killed was incompatible with Iceland’s Animal Welfare Act. The whaling season was due to commence tomorrow (June 21st).
Lucy Babey, Director of Programmes at ORCA, said: “We do welcome any official recognition and action of the fact that whales suffer as a consequence of being slaughtered, even if for the moment it is temporary. However, the means by which they are being killed won't be any different after August 31. The hunting of whales has always been cruel in a multitude of ways, and it will continue to be so until it is consigned to the history books.
We hope this is the beginning of the end of whaling in Iceland. Cruelty is not temporary. Iceland needs to accept and declare that whaling itself is dead in the water."