Every year between September and March, hundreds of dolphins and whales are slaughtered by hunters in Taiji, Japan. The practice is often explained as a tradition – but, in reality, these large-scale hunts began only in 1969. This year, shortly before the day marking the beginning of yet another killing season, 23 environmental and animal welfare organizations from all over the world came together to ask Japan to finally put an end to the hunts, International Marine Mammal Project reports.

Despite the reality that whale and dolphin meat is typically full of toxins that have been stored in their blubber, this meat is still put out on the market for sale. Interestingly, consumption of dolphin meat has dropped significantly in the past few years, but the slaughter continues none the less.

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Out of the hundreds of animals herded into “the cove,” some of the prettiest will be hand selected for a life in captivity. Although they may be spared a brutal and painful death, these dolphins endure arguably a worse sentence toiling away in small, maddening tanks. Many people don’t realize that these dolphins are captured and shipped to aquariums and amusement parks across the world – meaning, visitors who pay to see these animals on display are also funding the continued slaughter of countless whales.

Now, International Marine Mammal Project is calling on Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to stop the dolphin and whale hunts in Taiji once and for all. The message is endorsed by 22 of its colleague organizations, all in all representing around two million members and supporters.

“Now is the time for Japan to start phasing out dolphin hunting and whaling,” says the letter to Japan’s PM – and, hopefully, the huge opposition to the practice will finally make a change and eventually lead to the end of the killings.

If you believe this horrific slaughter needs to stop, share this article and raise awareness about the true cost of captivity!

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Image source: joakant/Pixabay

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