Friday 24 May 2019

Japanese man prepares for landmark case against dolphin hunts

Taiji resident will testify in attempt to ban activity as part of charity’s legal challenge
Thu 16 May 2019 21.00 BSTLast modified on Fri 17 May 2019 10.44 BST
A man from Taiji, the Japanese fishing town whose annual slaughter of dolphins has drawn widespread condemnation, will appear in court on Friday in an unprecedented legal challenge to the hunts.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the plaintiff, who has asked not to be named until the hearing has concluded, said he had been been ostracised in Taiji, where he was born and raised but decided to speak out against the hunts.
The 53-year-old will testify at Wakayama district court as part of a legal case brought by the London-based animal welfare charity Action for Dolphins and Life Investigation Agency, a Japanese NGO.
The groups said fishermen in the Pacific coast town routinely violate animal welfare laws and exceed government-set catch quotas. Action for Dolphins has described drive hunts, in which pods are herded from the open sea into a narrow cove, as “exceptionally cruel”. It said the animals die a slow, painful death.
Local fishermen denied they exceeded quotas or killed dolphins inhumanely, and have vowed to continue the hunts.

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