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June 26, 2012

Denmark Urged by HSI and Thousands of EU Citizens to Oppose Commercial Whaling

Humane Society International/Europe

  • A fin whale swims along with her calf. Adam Bennie/iStock

On the eve of the 64th International Whaling Commission annual meeting, Humane Society International has delivered a petition concerning Denmark’s position on commercial whaling to the Danish government.

The signatures of more than 18,000 concerned EU citizens were personally handed over to Ambassador Poul Skytte Christoffersen at the Danish Embassy in Brussels by HSI EU Director Dr. Joanna Swabe, along with the clear message that Denmark’s whaling policies should be firmly aligned with the principles and provisions of the European Union.

In the EU, whales, dolphins and porpoises are strictly protected from being captured, killed and traded. Nonetheless, each year, the Danish government has consistently supported commercial whaling and opposes pro-conservation measures at the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

Humane Society International contends that such action goes well beyond Denmark’s obligations to represent the indigenous whaling interests of its protectorates, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and leaves Denmark completely out of step with all other EU countries. The petition urges Denmark to join the rest of the EU and oppose all commercial whaling at the upcoming IWC meeting.

This petition follows hot on the heels of the publication of Breaking Ranks, a highly critical report that highlights how Denmark’s policies have historically been at odds with EU legislation and agreements due to the fact they have directly supported commercial whaling and Japanese requests to allow coastal commercial whaling. This being despite the fact that a majority of Danes do not support commercial whaling.

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