The Japanese NGO Life Investigation Agency (LIA) on Wednesday submitted evidence they hope will halt the annual dolphin hunts in Taiji, a whaling town on Japan’s Pacific coast, the Guardian reported. The lawsuit, filed with the Wakayama district court, asserts that dolphins are biologically mammals, and the cruelty inflicted on them in Taiji is conflicting with Japan’s own laws.
Dolphins are mistakenly viewed as ‘fish’ in Japan, so, the animal rights activists are continuously lobbying the legal ban of that unhuman activity. On Wednesday, the London-based organisation Action for Dolphins (AoD) and LIA have launched an unprecedented legal challenge to the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. According to activists, fishermen are routinely violating animal welfare laws and exceeding government-set quotas.
In Japan, dolphin drive hunting is very popular, for local people dolphins are fish but they are animals, mammals that should be protected from human cruelty.
“Dolphins are mistakenly viewed as ‘fish’ in Japan, and therefore domestic laws protecting mammals from cruelty have not been applied to them,” claimed Sarah Lucas, AoD CEO reiterated in the official statement.
Wakayama prefecture authorities abuse their powers by allowing Taiji dolphin hunt
While AoD and LIA have launched the legal challenge protecting dolphins’ rights, a prefectural government official declined to comment when contacted by the Guardian, saying it was unaware of the lawsuit.
The allegations made against Yoshinobu Nisaka, the governor of Wakayama prefecture, where Taiji is located, including that he has allegedly abused his power by issuing permits to fishermen who violate Japan’s animal welfare laws and catch quotas.
Some of the dolphins captured at Taiji are killed and their meat sold in supermarkets and restaurants, but the most attractive specimens are spared and sold to aquariums for up to tens of thousands of pounds each, according to Ms Lucas.