VANCOUVER, JUNE 16/06 - The secret ballots and other mechanisms embedded in an international whaling convention are designed to promote the slaughter of whales and are illegal says The Humane Society of Canada (HSC). “Except by dictators and despots, in our opinion, the use of secret ballots and restrictions that encourage a veil of secrecy are illegal in all of the countries which are signatories to the International Whaling Commission’s convention,” according to Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Chairman & CEO who is at the whaling talks being held in the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis.


The animal charity also says that all of the whaling commission nations are also member of the United Nations, and some are also members of the European Union as well as the Council of Europe. All of these guarantee freedom of speech and expression and a number of these laws can be found here. The organization says that if there are countries which do in fact have such secret mechanisms in place then it would be pleased to make this corrected information publicly available.

Canada is an observer nation to the whaling treaty, however, in the past, Canadian officials have forcefully and consistently supported the slaughter of whales and dolphins. A former government official with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans who once headed up Canada’s official delegation now works for the Japanese to actively promote the killing of whales.

“Japan, Norway, Iceland and their proxy nations support secret ballots and other restrictive mechanisms so that they can slaughter even more whales. However, these civil servants and elected officials need a harsh dose of reality. They have neither the mandate nor the authority from their own citizens to engage in secret practices that are illegal in their own countries,” says O’Sullivan.

The Humane Society of Canada believes that the only solution to the unbridled and irresponsible behavior of such civil servants and elected officials is to hold them to account for their actions, and launch legal proceedings against them in their own home countries. The animal charity’s message is simple: “If it’s illegal at home, it’s illegal abroad.”

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.]

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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A reported 70 nations have now signed the international whaling agreement and there is strong evidence that Japan has bought the votes of small developing nations. Japan and its allies are expected to use these votes to support secret ballots and other mechanisms in those dealing with environmental threats to whales, animal welfare, whale sanctuaries, whale watching and slaughter of whales and dolphins. In open defiance of the twenty year old ban on whaling, Japan, Norway, Iceland and other countries have slaughtered over 27,000 whales; and in the opinion of The Humane Society of Canada these countries are environmental outlaws.

The Humane Society of Canada supports ECO which is published at the whaling talks by a coalition of non-governmental organizations and can be found here.

The animal charity is also a member of the Global Whale Alliance fighting to end the slaughter of whales.