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Activists File Lawsuit to Highlight Annual Dolphin Massacre in Japan

Posted by feww on May 15, 2014

Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt Is a Mass Slaughter, Not a Tradition

Environmental activists are suing an aquarium in Taiji, Japan, a town made infamous by its annual dolphin slaughters, for denying them entry.

Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project and Save Japan Dolphins Campaign have filed a lawsuit on behalf of dolphins caught in the bloody drive hunts in Taiji, and in particular “Angel,” a rare albino bottlenose calf separated from its parents and kept in appalling conditions in an aquarium at Taiji Whale Museum, said Save Japan Dolphins.

When asked what happened to its parents, Taiji museum dolphin trainer said: “We don’t know for sure. They may have become meat,” AP reported.

“The lawsuit asserts that the Museum behaves illegally by denying entrance to dolphin welfare experts and observers on the basis of their opinion and race. This conduct is in breach of the Japanese constitution, which protects equal access to public places for all law-abiding people.”

The aquarium refused entry to former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, 74, to prevent him from  checking on the white baby dolphin he calls Angel,  it has in captivity.

The Cove -- OPS
A Day at The Cove! Image credit: Oceanic Preservation Society.

“They don’t want people like me to go into the Taiji Whale Museum to monitor Angel,” O’Barry said on Thursday.

“This is the largest slaughter of dolphins on planet Earth,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of dolphins have died there, in the most brutal way imaginable. Angel is the symbol of all of that. That is why she is so important.”

“Angel is living in hell,” said O’Barry. “This one small dolphin has become a global representative of the thousands of dolphins slaughtered and captured each year in Taiji.”

The Japanese government aggressively defends the dolphin drive hunt as tradition, a preposterous claim because the mass slaughter  began in 1969, and in  the face of international opposition, including from numerous celebrities.

More on this story at


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