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Thousands of dolphins are brutally and inhumanely killed every year in what are known as 'drive hunts'.
Every year in Japan, between October 1st and March 31st and in the last two decades, about 400,000 dolphins have been killed in the hunts. That's 18,000 every year--and the hunts show no signs of stopping. If nothing is done about this problem, Japan's coastline will again run read with dolphin blood as hunters butcher thousands more of these special creatures. Some dolphins that are captured are sent around the world to aquariums. Those who die are sent to be processed for human consumption and dog food and then sent around the world. Eating dolphin (as well as whale and shark) meat has been proved be a severe health risk due to the high increase of mercury in the meat itself.
Fishermen capture these intelligent marine mammals by working in small boats, using sounding rods below the water's surface to interfere with the dolphins' sonar and navigational abilities. Once completely disoriented, whole pods of dolphins, and small whales, are driven into a shallow bay in Taiji. It is then enclosed by a net stretched across the mouth of the bay. The fishermen usually injure a few of the captive dolphins with a spear thrust or a knife slash because dolphins will not abandon those wounded family members. Penned overnight, in the morning they are mercilessly stabbed and hacked until they bleed to death, staining the water blood red. A few dolphins are kept alive and sold to aquariums which number nearly fifty in Japan, while the rest are killed to be sold as meat (often mislabeled as whale meat) in markets and restaurants-- a big business in Japan. But the Japanese government is poisoning their own citizens. In 1999, scientists reported that in samples of meat from dolphins and small whales (the same kind slaughtered in Taiji):
~More than 91% of the samples exceeded the health limits for one or more pollutants.
~One sample had more than 1,600 times the maximum permitted amount of mercury.
Also, it has been shown that it takes 8-15 for a dolphin to drown or bleed to death. Mercy is non-existent.
Please help stop this cruel and unnecessary blood bath and sign our petition. Join thousands of activists, celebrities, and just every-day people to make a difference. Help the dolphins, help the Japanese people, help the world.
Dear Prime Minister & Minister of Fisheries,
We the undersigned have written to you about an urgent matter. Yearly, from October to March, thousands of dolphins are inhumanely ad cruelly slaughtered in Japanese waters. We have become severely concerned about this matter. Besides the cruel slaughter of these intelligent creatures, we are also concerned about the fact that the meat from the %u2018drives%u2019 are poisoning Japanese citizens.
Fishermen capture these intelligent marine mammals by working in small boats, using sounding rods below the water%u2019s surface to interfere with the dolphin%u2019s sonar and navigational abilities. Once completely disoriented, whole pods of dolphins, and small whales, are driven into a shallow bay in Taiji. It is then enclosed by a net stretched across the mouth of the bay. The fishermen usually injure a few of the captive dolphins with a spear thrust or a knife slash because the other dolphins will not abandon these wounded family members. Penned overnight, in the morning they are mercilessly stabbed and hacked until they bleed to death, staining the water blood red. Others get caught in the nets and drown. The fishermen take no care to keep mothers and calves together either. Those who are killed are sent to be processed for human and animal consumption. Those who are kept alive are sent around the world and all over Japan to aquariums. We%u2019re absolutely positive that if more people knew where the dolphins performing shows really came from and what they went through to get there, that the rate of people visiting aquariums with dolphins (and not just in Japan) would decline rapidly, injuring the aquarium economy.
Human consumption of dolphin and whale meat is an increasing health risk. Mercury levels are rising dramatically in the meat itself, causing health problems and risks in those who eat it. In 1999, scientists reported that in samples of meat from dolphins and small whales, the same kind slaughtered in Taiji, more than 91% of the samples exceeded the health limits for one or more pollutants and one sample had more than 1,600 times the maximum permitted amount of mercury. Imagine what it is now in 2008. Now imagine eating that, and what it would do to you. Millions of people, of all ages and all over Japan, are being intoxicated from the dolphin and whale meat. If the %u2018drives%u2019 were to be stopped once and for all, the people of Japan will be safe from Mercury poisoning from dolphin and whale meat and from other pollutants as well.
We ask you to please take into consideration not just the cruelty of the %u2018drives%u2019 themselves, but of the health of your people. Please stop these cruel and unnecessary slaughters and help to not only save the dolphins and whales, but your people as well. We would also like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter and we can only hope that you will respond positively to it and do something to stop these inhumane blood baths.
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