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Blue whale © Andrew Sutton

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Despite recent claims that six dolphins caught in the infamous drive hunts in Taiji, Japan arrived at Heathrow Airport via a Japan Airlines on flight from Tokyo, Whale and Dolphin Conservation has received confirmation directly from UK government department Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) that this is not the case. Some of the dolphins that escape slaughter in the cruel drive hunts in Japan are selected for transportation and a life in captivity at entertainment parks and aquariums across the world but, in a direct communication to WDC, a senior Defra spokesperson stated that no dolphins were shipped through Heathrow yesterday (11th October).

“The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency is aware of suggestions circulating online that dolphins travelling between Japan and the United Arab Emirates transited through Heathrow Airport during the last few days. AHVLA (the UK CITES management authority) has issued no CITES Permits for Dolphins, nor received any applications to do so; neither have AHVLA inspectors at Heathrow Airport been made aware of any such consignment.” (Defra).

WDC welcomes the fact that a UK airport was not used, but the fight against the Japanese dolphin hunts and the captivity industry continues.

More on drive hunts here