Saturday, July 25, 2015

Japan Back In The Zoo Club

The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) has regained its membership in the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), after it ordered its members to stop getting dolphins from the brutal Taiji hunt.
WAZA represents more than 50 national aquarium and zoo associations worldwide, and requires members to stick to certain animal welfare standards. It suspended JAZA in April over acquisitions of dolphins from Taiji, where every year fishermen herd animals into a cove and butcher them. They save a handful of the animals to sell to aquariums.
"Soup, anyone?"
When the Japanese body met late May, a majority of its 89 member zoos and 63 aquariums voted in favour of staying in WAZA, by ending the purchase of Taiji dolphins.
If the JAZA members had voted no, they'd have been expelled immediately. That would have ended access to the WAZA database, creating big difficulties importing rare animals from zoos and aquariums overseas.
JAZA said the suspension has also prompted the group to seek alternative sources of live dolphins.
"Got my fork. When's lunch?"
So, typical of the Japanese mind-set about marine mammals, JAZA will still get the dolphins another way...while greedily retaining access to a very valuable database!
The slaughter at Taiji gained global notoriety after the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove (2009) showed the water running red with blood. Only a small number of dolphins caught at Taiji are sold to aquariums. The vast majority are butchered and sold for their meat.
The battle for Taiji continues...

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