Iceland has decided to suspend its annual whale hunt, responding to concerns that the practice does not align with the nation’s Animal Welfare Act.
Svandís Svavarsdóttir, the minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, made the decision public on Tuesday, postponing the hunt to the end of August. Iceland, Japan, and Norway are the only countries in the world that still kill whales.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned international whaling in 1986 in an attempt to stop whale killings. However, Whale and Dolphin Conservation data reveal that nearly 40,000 whales have been killed by Japan, Norway, and Iceland since the ban.
The Council on Animal Welfare in Iceland declared that the current method of hunting large whales does not comply with the country’s animal welfare law.
The council’s conclusion is based on several factors, including the inability to determine the gender of whales from the ships or whether the female whales are pregnant or nursing. The survival rate of orphaned calves is extremely low, and the hunting process inevitably induces stress and fear in the whales.
Furthermore, euthanizing whales quickly and painlessly is impossible, adding to the council’s concerns. Based on the data and discussions with experts, the council concluded that it is impossible to uphold the necessary animal welfare standards during whale hunts under current conditions.Donate