Tell Denmark to End Whale & Dolphin Slaughter in Their Waters!

  • by: John Koehler
  • target: Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Whales are sensitive, social animals with highly developed nervous systems. They have a profound capacity to suffer distress, terror and pain. Each year, the Faroese kill pilot whales and other small cetaceans.

Islanders in motorboats first drive the whales into a bay. The chase may be lengthy. The exhausted, terrified and confused whales are eventually driven into the shallows. Here the bloodbath begins. The islanders repeatedly hammer 2.2 kg metal gaffs into the living flesh of each whale until the hooks hold. A 15 cm knife is then used to slash through the blubber and flesh to the spinal column. Next the main blood vessels are severed. The blood-stained bay is soon filled with horribly mutilated and dying whales.

The Faroese celebrate the butchery of their victims in an carnival atmosphere of entertainment. Indoctrinated from an early age, children are often given a day off school to watch the fun. They run down to the bay and clamber over the carcasses of slaughtered whales.

Every year around 2,000 whales are driven ashore and cruelly slaughtered in the Faroe Islands, mid-way between the Shetland Islands and Iceland. For centuries the Faroe Islanders have hunted pilot whales, driving entire schools into killing bays, where they are speared or gaffed from boats, dragged ashore and butchered with knives. Although the Islands are a protectorate of Denmark, they have their own Government and regulations governing the pilot whale hunt or "grind" as it is known.

Aside from the fact that the number of North Atlantic long-finned pilot whales is unknown and they are listed as 'strictly protected' by the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, this is an act of barbarism and pointlessness. By slaughtering 100 whales at a time, the Faroese are wiping out entire pods and family groups. They are removing building blocks from the gene pool of the species and damaging the web of life in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.

The drive hunt is a practice abandoned elsewhere many decades ago, and now outlawed by other European states. The inhabitants of the Faroe Islands have no subsistence need for whale meat, and much of the flesh is left to rot and be dumped; it cannot be exported, as it is polluted with heavy metals and other toxins and therefore cannot meet EU heath standards for human food.

According to Faroese legislation it is also permitted to hunt certain species of small cetaceans other than pilot whales. These include: Bottlenose dolphin; Atlantic white-beaked dolphin; Atlantic white-sided dolphin; and Harbour porpoise (There are also specific regulations for the hunting of harbour porpoise. Harbour porpoises are killed with shotguns).






We are pleading with you to suspend Denmark's annual subsidy to the Faroes until an agreement to phase out and end the Faroe Islands' pilot whale 'grind hunts' has been signed between the Faroese home rule government and the Kingdom of Denmark. More than 150 long-finned pilot whales have been killed in the Faroe Islands, a Danish protectorate, since July of this year (2000).

We are horrified that this hunt is conducted in the name of tradition by wealthy islanders, who have no subsistence need for whale meat. The hunt, known as a 'grind', is horrifically cruel, using fishing boats to drive North Atlantic and migratory North Sea Pilot whales into shore and roping and hauling on them until they beach themselves, then sawing at their heads with long knives, severing their spines, and letting them bleed to death.

Aside from the fact that the number of North Atlantic long-finned pilot whales is unknown and they are listed as 'strictly protected' by the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, this is an act of barbarism and pointlessness. By slaughtering 100 whales at a time, the Faroese are wiping out entire pods and family groups. They are removing building blocks from the gene pool of the species and damaging the web of life in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.

Regardless, of whether 'Faroese home rule' means they are virtually an independent nation, their whale hunt IS Denmark's responsibility as the Faroe Islands are an overseas administrative division of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Queen of Denmark is the Faroes' head of state, Denmark is their international representative, their law is the Danish constitution, their money is the Danish crown, and your government gifts them one billion of those crowns every year in an annual subsidy.

We will boycott the Faroese, your country and it's exports, and I will advise my friends, family and clients to do the same until you stop this outrageous abuse of marine animals in your waters.

Sign Petition

privacy policy

By signing, you accept Care2's terms of service.

Having problems signing this? Let us know.