Wednesday, 25 March 2015

World's top zoo organisation accused of links to Taiji dolphin slaughter in Japan

Conservationists take World Association of Zoos and Aquariums to court for allegedly sanctioning a deal with fishermen in which dolphins were selected for capture

Monday 23 March 2015 20.59 GMTLast modified on Tuesday 24 March 201504.35 GMT

The world’s leading zoo organisation has been accused of being complicit in the infamous dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan, by helping secure captured dolphins for one of its members, despite publicly condemning the practice.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza) is being taken to a Swiss court by conservationists who accuse it of misleading conduct over its stance on the Taiji dolphin hunts, which gained global attention through the documentary The Cove.

Waza is accused of sanctioning a private deal involving the fishermen who herd and slaughter the dolphins and the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Jaza), which is an associate Waza member.

Waza’s code of ethics labels the dolphin hunts “inherently cruel”, but it allegedly agreed a “dolphin management protocol” with Jaza in 2009 that involved a “gentler” method of herding small numbers of dolphins towards shore where they would be captured for aquariums.

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