Applaud Zoo Association’s Withdrawal from Taiji Dolphin Slaughter


Target: Kazutoshi Arai, Chairman, Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Goal: Praise zoo association’s promise to stop obtaining animals caught during the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.

Dolphins and other marine mammals caught during the annual Taiji dolphin hunt will no longer be put for display in Japanese zoos. According to a statement by the by the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA), pressure from the international community played a huge part in the change. Last month, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) announced that it would suspend the membership of its Japanese chapter until it stopped supporting the barbaric dolphin slaughter in Taiji.

Each year, fishermen bludgeon thousands of dolphins, porpoises, and whales to death by herding them toward the shore, trapping them there, and coming back the next day to collect the animals as they succumb to exhaustion. The fishermen kill the animals with a metal spike to the back of the head, a practice which can leave animals alive for several minutes as they convulse and bleed out. This method is considered to be cruel and torturous by veterinarians across the world and would be illegal in Japan if used on a cow or a pig.

Some animals are spared from the slaughter only to be sold to zoos and aquariums where they are forced to live the rest of their lives in captivity. Several JAZA member zoos currently house animals caught during the Taiji slaughter in direct contention with WAZA bans on “cruel and non-selective methods of taking animals from the wild.”

Without the monetary support from Japanese zoos and aquariums, the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter will take a huge financial hit. Furthermore, this is a sign that Japan is beginning to yield to the massive international pressure it faces due to its annual dolphin slaughter. Sign the petition below to praise JAZA’s decision to withdraw all support from the barbaric Taiji dolphin hunt.


Dear Chairman Kazutoshi Arai,

The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently announced that it will stop purchasing marine mammals from the fishermen responsible for the annual Taiji dolphin hunt. During this event, thousands of dolphins are massacred in a brutal manner and others are captured and sold into captivity.

Without support from Japanese aquariums and zoos, the dolphin hunt will lose major funding. We, the undersigned, thank you for withdrawing support from the Taiji dolphin hunt.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Erik Christensen

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