WDC celebrates a massive achievement in our campaign to make whaling a deal-breaker in the free trade agreement negotiations between the EU and Japan.
On July 6, 2016 in Strasbourg, a majority of the members of the European parliament (MEPs) agreed on a resolution asking for stronger measures from the EU against Japanese whaling. The vote was overwhelming with 610 votes in favour, 11 against and 77 abstentions.
This resolution strongly condemns Japan´s continued flouting of international agreements and specifically mentions the current free trade agreement negotiations with the EU. It calls on the EU Commission and Member States to engage with Japan with a view to abolishing whaling. The European Parliament represents the European public and has to give consent to the conclusion of the free trade agreement currently under negotiation so this strength of feeling is an extremely good sign. The resolution makes explicit reference to the fact that “whaling causes severe suffering to individual[s…] and threatens the conservation status of whale populations as a whole” and urges the EU to do its utmost to resolve the issue.
WDC is thrilled by this resolution. We have campaigned hard over recent months against the signing of a free trade agreement with Japan unless the country reconsiders its whaling practices. Just last week WDC and our partners at Humane Society International held a meeting at the European Parliament where we discussed whaling and the free trade agreement with MEPs. And, in partnership with our friends at the petition site, Care2, we have gathered more than 270,000 signatures from people all over the world and we will present this petition to MEPs in a couple of weeks’ time.
MEP Anja Hazekamp, who was instrumental in the initiative behind the resolution said in a statement “The European position will be enhanced by this call. The Japanese should stop hunting whales, otherwise there will be consequences for their business relations with Europe.”