Oct 26, 2005

Howard Government must do more to stop whale slaughter

Howard Government must do more to stop whale slaughter


26 October 2005

John Howard must act immediately to stop the slaughter of whales.

In 1999, the Federal Parliament passed a law creating a whale sanctuary in Australian waters in the Antarctic. Yet, since 1999, Japanese fishermen have slaughtered over 400 whales in Australian waters, and there hasn’t been one single prosecution.

The Government has refused to enforce its own laws which prohibit the slaughter of whales in Australian waters.

Labor has consistently argued the Government must get serious about stopping the slaughter of whales.

The Government must enforce Australian laws and also take Japan to the International Court of Justice over whaling in Antarctica.

Labor welcomes the legal advice, released today by Australians for Animals International, that Australia could legitimately challenge Japanese plans to increase whaling.

Australians are united in condemning whaling.

The Government should be working hard to ensure that Japan doesn’t have the numbers at next year’s IWC meeting. However, it needs to do much more if the slaughter of whales is to be stopped.

In 1999 the Howard Government appealed to the International Law of the Sea Tribunal to stop Japan fishing for southern blue fin tuna. The then Attorney General Daryl Williams flew to Europe to represent Australia.

In 1999, the Howard Government was willing to take court action against Japan, but in 2005 it intervened in the Federal Court to stop action to protect Aussie whales.