GER HAPPY AMERICANS GO HOME -- JAPAN LEAVE WHALES ALONE TORONTO, Oct. 2 1998 - The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) has a crystal clear message for American whalers and their Japanese supporters who want to chase wounded whales into Canadian waters: "If you think Canadians are going to sit by and let a bunch of trigger happy Americans cross our border, firing an anti-tank gun at whales, you need to have your heads examined," said HSC Executive Director, Michael O'Sullivan. He says this would trigger a serious international incident and violate strict Canadian laws involving public safety, the use of weapons and cruelty to animals -- and that such an act would also violate American and international laws.

 

Only bad weather conditions have prevented the Makah natives of Washington State from going out to hunt for whales, something which they have not done for nearly 90 years.

 

A report released today by The Humane Society of Canada and sent to the leaders of Canada, British Columbia, the United States and Japan contains 25 major action points outlining scientific, legal and humane reasons why the killing of whales should end right now. "The Humane Society of Canada will take all necessary legal steps to ensure that the officials and citizens of any government are held fully accountable for any actions they take to facilitate violations of such laws, and for any civil lawsuits that arise as a result of injuries caused by their actions," said O'Sullivan.

The report also accuses Japanese interests for inflaming the controversy by providing money and support to native groups. "Japan hopes that if more nations resume whaling then they will no longer be isolated as an outlaw nation. That's why Japan supports groups like the British Columbia based `World Council of Whalers', and is urging native groups in Canada to kill whales when they have not done so for decades," said O'Sullivan.

But if the Japanese or native groups believe that others can be fooled that easily, they are wrong. "As the whale writhes in agony, it doesn't matter to the whale who pulled the trigger, and it doesn't make any difference to the rest of the world either," said O'Sullivan, who has worked in Canada and in over 70 countries during the past 25 years. "Choices made by people to inflict pain and suffering upon animals for cultural or religious purposes should not be imposed on other members of society," said O'Sullivan.

"These magnificent animals do not belong to the Japanese, to the Americans, or even to Canadians. They belong to a world which has almost universally condemned whaling for the cruel and barbaric practice that it is. The other 191 countries and 6 billion people on earth realize there are many other problems facing us which demand our time, money and urgent attention. And if Japan really believes that the rest of the world will put up with their nonsense any longer, and that this whaling issue will be dragged along with us into the next Millennium, then they are badly mistaken," warned O'Sullivan.

"We are beginning in British Columbia and right across Canada by asking every child, woman and man to join with us in stopping this terrible cruelty once and for all," he said.

Other highlights of the report:

  • an inquiry into past and present actions by Canadian civil servants who support whaling
  • help from the 8 out of 10 Canadians government surveys show support wildlife protection
  • immediate compensation for any disruption of multimillion dollar whale watching tourism
  • support for whale watching tours which annually generate $ 500 million US worldwide
  • release of government documents voluntarily or by a Federal Court lawsuit
  • investigation under North American Free Trade Agreement Environmental Accords
  • demand that Japan stop fostering conflict between nations by undermining laws
  • blocking Japan's request for a Permanent Seat on the UN Security Council
  • scientific evidence that whaling can never be humane
  • laws reaffirming that wildlife is sentient and has intrinsic value
  • illegal for Americans to harm marine mammals in territorial waters of other nations


CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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