The government has refused to postpone a free trade deal with the Faroe Islands over whale and dolphin massacres, defying calls from conservationists.
Poachers caused widespread outrage last week when they wiped out a super-pod of 1,428 dolphins – considered the worst bloodbath of mammals in the islands’ history.
Exactly 10 days later, he responded to the global uprising by Slaughter of 53 Pilot Whales Only a few miles from the first massacre.
Wildlife campaigner Dominic Dyer has called on ministers to suspend the £580m post-Brexit deal the government agreed to with the Faroe Islands in 2019 “until the slaughter ends for good”.
More than 21,000 people have signed a petition on the government website supporting the petition in three days.
the government told Granthshala It is “extremely concerned about the sustainability and welfare implications for the animals involved in these hunts” but will not review the trade deal.
Instead, it says it will “continue to engage in a frank and respectful dialogue” with the Faroe’s government.
Animal Welfare Minister Zack Goldsmith tweeted about the dolphin killings: “This is one of the sickest spectacles I’ve ever seen. It puts our species to shame.”
Known as a “grindadrap”, the annual hunt includes spotting whales and dolphins on a beach where their blood turns the sea red, where they are starved to death.
The practice has been branded “barbaric”, “sick” and “sadistic”, but defenders say it is a tradition that does not put the animals at risk of extinction.
Mr Dyer said: “We are currently giving the Faroe Islands a preferential trade agreement worth over £500 million a year – the time has come for sanctions to stop this vandalism.”
The deal covers more than 25 per cent of Faroese’s global trade, he said, with exports from the islands – mostly fish sold in British supermarkets – worth £582m a year.
Mr Dyer said the UK had exported an amount of £34m, whose petition read: “If the UK is to be considered a world leader in the conservation of marine mammals, it must now use this leverage.”
when asked by Granthshala Whether it would agree to suspend or review the deal, the International Trade Department said it had no plans to do so.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: “The UK strongly opposes the hunting of any cetaceans and continues to call on all whaling nations, including the Faroe Islands, to stop them at every reasonable opportunity.” Whaling activities in favor of well-managed, responsible tourism, such as whale-watching.
“We recognize that the Faroe Islands have a long tradition of killing pilot whales and dolphins for meat and other products, and we want to continue our candid conversations related to cetacean conservation, to encourage them to stop these hunting “
The government’s policy is to “maintain diplomatic pressure” on the islands to end hunting and to reconnect with the International Whaling Commission.
Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie and her father Stanley have previously joined a campaign against whaling outside the Japanese embassy in London.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /