Danish officials, including police, navy, and customs representatives, have been facilitating and supporting the slaughter of cetaceans in the Faroe Islands. In events known as "grindadráps," Denmark assists the Faroese with ensuring that they can drive hundreds of pilot whales and other cetaceans into bays, where, while screaming in terror, their spinal columns are ruthlessly sliced, filling the bays full of blood.
While the Faroese cannot be brought to justice for their direct role in these atrocities, Denmark can. By supporting the Faroe Islands in the slaughter, Denmark fails to fulfill its EU obligations under the EU Habitats Directive - officially known as the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Habitats Directive prohibits member states (including Denmark) from all forms of deliberate disturbance, capture, or killing of cetaceans.
On 8 May 2017, with the formal support of 27 Members of the European Parliament, Sea Shepherd Netherlands officially submitted a complaint to the European Commission, requesting infringement proceedings against Denmark for facilitating the slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans in the Faroe Islands.
It is up to the European Commission to ensure that Denmark is brought to justice. Sea Shepherd has given the European Commission all the proof needed to make that happen. Please sign our petition right away requesting that the European Commission stop Denmark from continuing to facilitate the slaughter of cetaceans. Time is of the essence – the European Commission is deliberating now.
Dear Commissioner Vella,
I am writing to urge you to honor EU law and hold Denmark accountable for its role in the slaughter of cetaceans in the Faroe Islands. As Sea Shepherd Netherlands described in its comprehensive 8 May 2017 Complaint for Infringement, by facilitating the hunting of cetaceans in Faroese grindadráps, Denmark is clearly violating the EU Habitats Directive.
The Commission has both the law and facts in hand to act to stop Denmark. Specifically:
(1) The long-finned pilot whales and the other cetaceans killed in the Faroe Islands are subject to “strict protection” under the Habitats Directive.
(2) Denmark’s direct facilitation of the grindadráps constitutes “deliberate” killing or disturbance of the long-finned pilot whales and other protected cetaceans, conduct expressly prohibited by the Habitats Directive.
(3) Significantly more cetaceans die as a result of Denmark’s direct involvement in the grindadráps.
(4) Denmark is obligated to comply with the Habitats Directive, regardless of the conservation status of the species at issue.
(5) The Habitats Directive applies to Danish activities supporting the grindadráps in the Faroe Islands, a conclusion supported on a number of grounds, including the fact that the cetaceans slaughtered in the Faroe Islands travel routinely through EU waters.
(6) Sea Shepherd’s extensive efforts to resolve this issue directly with Denmark have been unsuccessful.
(7) Denmark has not asserted (and truly cannot legitimately assert) a “derogation” from the Habitat’s Directive related to its support of the grindadráps, and the Commission cannot assert one on Denmark’s behalf.
As the European Commission is well aware, grindadráps are a brutal and senseless tradition. I urge you to initiate an infringement proceeding against Denmark now. This is your opportunity to ensure that Denmark cannot illegally support such atrocities.
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