Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Harpooning - more than you ever wanted to know 

The Icelandic decision to resume commercial whaling previously lamented does also raise the question - just how are Whales killed? According to the Harpooning for Dummies page over in Science Blogs nobody know how humane this proceedure is, and no other slaughter procedure with this degree of uncertainty would be permitted on any other mammal in any well-regulated farming or hunting practice.

Note that explosive harpoons are not the only means used to catch whales.

The harpooning for Dummies writer, Shelley Batts says about the International Whaling Commission documents on harpooning:

Essentially, what they are saying is that while explosive harpoons are agreed upon to be effective and lethal, whether or not they are humane or quick is still not known. In addition, with explosive harpoons are recommended, they are by no means the only method used. Methods described here in the 2003 Report of the Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues in Berlin listed hand-held harpoons, cannon harpoons, aboriginal dart guns, and even rifles shot at whales.

And I said mammal, avoiding the upcoming uproar on whether fish feel pain.

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