Double standards

Published: Monday 28 February 2005

Protection subject to diplomac (Credit: Whalecenter)In a surprise move, the Australian government, which vociferously opposes whaling at all international fora, has decided to not support a lawsuit filed by an Australian animal rights group against a Japanese whaling company. The Humane Society International had last year sued the Kyodo Senpaku company for alleged illegal slaughter of over 400 minke whales in Antarctic waters that are part of the country's economic zone and also a whale sanctuary. In November 2004, the court said its verdict will wait for the government's statement. On January 25, 2005, the government told the court it won't support the lawsuit.

"We support the Humane Society's objectives in trying to stop whaling, but not the process of going through the Australian courts," a spokesperson for environment minister Ian Campbell reportedly said. Japan is a major consumer of whale meat and also hunts whales for research. But environmentalists deem such research as harmful as commercial whaling.

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