From: Associated Press
Published June 13, 2006 12:00 AM

New Video Shows Harpooned Whales Take Too Long to Die, Animal Rights Groups Say

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A whale hit with an explosive-tipped harpoon takes two and a half minutes to die -- a timeframe unacceptable for even farmyard livestock, animal rights activists said Tuesday, citing gruesome new video evidence.

The World Society for Protection of Animals and Environmental Investigation Agency said the footage "proves that there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea, even in optimum weather conditions."

The two groups said they had filmed the Norwegian whaling ship, Brandsholmboen, firing the harpoon into a minke whale off the coast of Norway last month.

"Despite the hunt taking place in perfect conditions, the whale takes some two-and-a-half minutes to die," the groups said in a statement.

WSPA director Leah Garces added, "this would not be an acceptable 'time to death' for a farm animal, so why should it be permitted for whale?"

She noted that on cruelty grounds alone, all commercial and scientific whaling should cease.

Most whaling is banned under a global moratorium signed two decades ago. Japan and Iceland kill whales for scientific research -- which critics call a sham -- and sell the carcasses. Norway ignores the moratorium and openly conducts commercial whaling.

Source: Associated Press

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