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Sinn Féin MEP calls upon European Union to declare its opposition to commercial whale hunting

19 June, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called upon the European Union to actively oppose the practice of whale hunting.

Ms de Brún made her comments after the International Whaling Commission backed a resolution calling for the eventual return of commercial whaling. The resolution was approved by a vote of 33 to 32, with one member - China - abstaining.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Whales are an endangered species and the resolution calling for the reintroduction of commercial whaling will concern environmentalists across the planet. Whilst this vote does not spell the immediate reintroduction of commercial whale hunting, it is certainly a major victory for those who want to see the resumption of the practice.

"A re-opening of this practice would send out an unmistakable signal that commercial whaling is more important than the protection and conservation of an intelligent and endangered species. The protection of these mammals should be of paramount importance for national governments. Many scientists agree that the practice of harpooning often leads to a slow and agonizing death for the whale.

"The European Union should take an immediate stand against the reintroduction of commercial whaling which has been banned since 1986." ENDS

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