By Tim Saunders on
Following his open letter to the public earlier this week, Pierce Brosnan is now appealing to Barack Obama to stop the current ban on whaling from being lifted.
“Is it possible that the Obama Administration will capitulate to a proposed plan that permits Japan, Norway, and Iceland to resume commercial whaling?” asks the actor in a letter to the president in the Huffington Post.
“As unlikely as it sounds, the answer is yes. The Obama Administration has indeed supported, behind closed doors, a dangerous new proposal to overturn the global whaling ban.
“Since President Ronald Reagan first helped usher in the international ban on commercial whaling, every American President has reasserted our nation’s strong leadership in the fight to save the whales.
“From the shores of Cape Cod to the California coast and across the political spectrum, Americans love whales. Five national surveys commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) over the past decade show overwhelming majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents want these intelligent, gentle creatures protected for future generations. Voters of all subgroups – from rural, conservative GOP members, to urban, liberal Democrats – want our government to stop Japan, Iceland, and Norway from hunting whales.
“All the more stunning then, to learn that U.S. government bureaucrats, together with fisheries representatives from a dozen other countries, have emerged from three years of closed-door meetings with a proposal to lift the ban on whaling. The proposal not only rewards Japan, Iceland, and Norway for flouting international law, but also gives these three nations “a license to kill” whales commercially. The group’s final proposal, which was released on April 22nd (Earth Day!), and which will be voted on this June, is as unwise as it is out of the American mainstream."
The International Whaling Commission has announced plans which would effectively allow whaling catch limits in a move that has angered anti-whaling countries such as Australia and New Zealand. The proposal would allow Japan to legally slaughter 400 whales every year for the next five years. The plan would also allow the catching of 10 endangered fin whales annually.
“Instead of endorsing this sellout of the world’s whales, the American government must work to end the savagery of commercial whaling forever. On April 16, 2008 then-candidate Barack Obama promised, “As President, I will ensure the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international ban on commercial whaling. Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable.” But indeed, the proposed deal guarantees whaling for the next ten years.
“For more than a decade Japan, Iceland, and Norway have worked harder to keep killing whales than our government has worked has to protect them. However, it is not too late to turn the tide. The Obama Administration must send a clear signal that it intends to end commercial whaling forever. “Change we can believe in” can then extend beyond our shores to benefit our planet’s great whales.
“Mr. President, please stay in the fight! Stop the sellout, and save the whales!”
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