Friday, 24 April 2015

Japanese zoo association suspended by world body over Taiji dolphin hunts

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums takes action against Japanese member representing aquariums that take dolphins from Taiji hunt

Thursday 23 April 2015 03.48 BST
Last modified on Thursday 23 April 201505.27 BST

The world’s leading zoo organisation has suspended its Japanese member over its involvement in the controversial dolphin hunts in Taiji.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza) has suspended the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Jaza) following a unanimous vote by its council.

As revealed by the Guardian last month, Waza has been targeted in a court action launched by conservationists who accuse it of effectively approving the dolphin hunts, where animals are forced into shallow waters and some slaughtered or picked for public display in aquariums.

The Taiji dolphin hunts gained notoriety through the documentary The Cove. Jaza, which represents Japanese aquariums that have taken dolphins from the hunt, rejected a Waza proposal for a two-year moratorium on the practice.

“Jaza responded by proposing some guideline changes that would put restrictions on the method of capturing dolphins and improving animal care, but because it did not restrict taking animals from the drive, Waza council concluded that a satisfactory agreement could not be reached and voted to suspend the Japanese association’s membership,” Waza said in a statement.

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