VANCOUVER, June 20, 2006 – In a decision-making body, a filibuster is an attempt to extend debate on a proposal in order to delay or completely prevent a vote on its passage. In Japan, a similar tactic known as ‘cow walking’ (gyoho or ushi aruki) is used to delay and obstruct proceedings, a tactic which the Japanese have honed to a fine art at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings according to The Humane Society of Canada (HSC).


“As someone from a bilingual country, I can appreciate the need fro a multicultural approach,” says Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Chairman & CEO who is at the IWC talks being held in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis.


“However, the signatory nations have agreed that the working language of the Commission is English and Japan in particular, abuses its privileges by speaking twice on the same subject, first in Japanese and then repeating essentially the same words in English. In our view, this is a calculated attempt to promote the slaughter of whales and dolphins by wasting valuable time, creating delays and obstructing critical discussions and votes on important issues needed to protect whales, dolphins and the marine environment,” he says.

“If every other country at the meeting behaved the same way as Japan, they would never get any work done. In our view, Japan is abusing the generosity of spirit of other nations and their citizens and interprets their kindness as weakness,” says O’Sullivan.

“If Japan is truly interested in showing courtesy towards, rather than contempt of, the right of other nations who want to protect and not slaughter whales, they should make arrangements to immediately bring an end to this behaviour. If not, then we hope that other signatory nations, on behalf of their hundreds of millions of citizens, approach Japan and demand they adopt a more respectful attitude towards the voices of other nations which deserve the right to receive equal time to state their case for the protection of whales, dolphins and the marine environment which we all share,” he says.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[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.]

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