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Iceland. Whaling. Iceland resumes commercial whaling

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The Icelandic government has announced that it will resume the hunt for common fin whales after a two-month break, but with new guidelines. The whale should be killed as quickly as possible to reduce the animal’s suffering.

Icelandic authorities on Thursday approved the resumption of commercial hunting of endangered common whales (Balaenoptera physalus). Animal rights organizations protested this decision. The hunting suspension expired on August 31.

A cruel practice

The Icelandic government said it has introduced stricter regulations to regulate hunting, which involves shooting animals with harpoons carrying grenades. He added that now the whale should be killed as quickly as possible so that the animal does not suffer. Non-governmental organizations said the new regulations “make no sense and are irrelevant” because fin whales will continue to be killed in an extremely cruel way that causes injured animals to die for hours.

Common whale (Balaenoptera physalus)stock.adobe.com

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Threatened with extinction

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, fin whales are at risk of extinction. Meanwhile, 148 such whales were killed in Iceland last year. Iceland’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Svandis Svavarsdottir, stressed on Friday that the current hunting permit was issued in 2019, before she took over the ministry, and remains in force until the end of 2023. In June, Svavarsdottir suspended hunting licenses after a government-commissioned report found they did not comply with Icelandic animal welfare laws. The re-issuance of the permit was preceded by stricter regulations regarding equipment used during hunting. European director of Humane Society International, Ruud Tombrock, said that “it is impossible to explain why Minister Svavarsdottir rejected the clear conclusions of a scientific study she commissioned, proving how brutal and cruel commercial whale hunting is.” Iceland, Norway and Japan are the only countries where whale hunting is still carried out.

PAP, theguardian.com, Reuters

Main photo source: stock.adobe.com

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