Keith Taylor, Green Party animal spokesperson and MEP for the South East, has slammed Japan's plans to leave the International Whaling Commission in order to resume commercial whale hunting operations. The senior Green politician, and Vice Chair of the European Parliament's Animal Welfare Intergroup, also took the opportunity to hit out at whaling nations closer to home.
"The European Green Party family, including Greens in the UK, is resolutely and firmly opposed to the catastrophic cruelty of whale hunting. The squalid trade can never be justified on any grounds; we will continue to fight, tooth and nail and across borders, to put an end to the needless suffering."
"Whaling is barbarism, plain and simple, and Japan's latest move is astounding in its lunacy and disrespect for international efforts to aid the vital recovery of cetacean species. The weight of the international community must be brought to bear on Japan until it reverses its decision to resume commercial whaling and, instead, urgently acts to conserve marine ecosystems."
"But let us not forget Japan is one of three whale-hunting nations, alongside Norway and Iceland."
"I have been a leading critic of Norway's operations and have won the support of the European Parliament in a vote to halt whale hunting in the country. Not only does hunting threaten whale populations around the world, but the act of hunting also causes severe suffering to the individual animals which can never be justified. The EU cannot be seen to facilitate this fetid trade."
"At the same time, Iceland is being run by a coalition government in which a 'Left Green' party has significant influence. Although Vinstri Græn is not a member of the European Green Party or any other part of the Green political family, any party that claims to be 'Green' tarnishes that label by allowing the brutality of whaling to touch their shores. Compassion for animals is in our DNA; real Greens will continue pushing for Iceland to put a stop to the savagery of whale hunting."