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Kiwi Greens: 'Whales are not dog tucker!'; Japan's scientific research program a 'fallacy'

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- An admission by the Japanese whaling institute that whale meat is ending up in that nation's pet food bowls is just one more reason that the barbaric slaughter must be banned, the Green Party says.

"Whales are not dog tucker! New Zealanders will be appalled to know that as they struggle to rescue stranded whales here, Japans dog's are feasting on whale," Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"The admission by the Institute of Cetacean Research's Director General Dr. Hiroshi Hatanaka, that meat not suitable for human consumption is sold for dog food simply highlights the fallacy that is Japan's scientific whaling programme. It is becoming increasingly obvious that whaling is being done for commercial purposes and not for scientific reasons.

"During the summer New Zealanders were outraged at the images of bleeding and tortured whales in the Southern Ocean. Japan continued to maintain fallacy that it was all in the interests of science, and even the New Zealand Government failed to any take real action. And so while the fallacy continues, and diplomatic measures grind on, more and more whales are slaughtered, and then fed to pets," Mrs Turei says.

"It seems that the slaughter season has produced much more whale meat than the Japanese nation can stomach. Not only is it ending up as 'whale jerky' for their pets, it is also being fed to children in school lunches around the country.

"According to the Japanese media more than 1.6 tons of whale meat were served as school lunches in over 100 schools in Kyoto, Osaka and Nara prefectures and Tokyo in the month of January.

"One has to question why, if whale meat is such a traditional delicacy, there is so much left over that it is being served up in schools. A cynical person might think the whaling companies are hoping to cultivate new markets. "It is clear that this is more than scientific research if every school boy or girl - and their dog - can so easily tuck in to a whale dinner," Mrs Turei says.

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