|Global court orders halt to Japan’s whale slaughter
The International Court of Justice says that Japan's Antarctic whaling program is not for scientific purposes and has ordered a temporary stay on the program.
(Pictured, a whale and calf is slaughtered by a Japanese ship).
Australia had sued Japan at the UN dispute-resolution court for resolving in hopes of ending whaling in the icy Southern Ocean.
Reading a 12-4 decision by the court's 16-judge panel, Presiding Judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia said Japan has not justified the large number of minke whales it takes under its program, while failing to meet much smaller targets for fin and humpback whales.
The court ordered a halt to the issuing of whaling permits until the program has been revamped.
"Japan shall revoke any existant authorization, permit or license granted in relation to Jarpa II [research program] and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance to the program,'' Judge Tomka said.
He noted among other factors that Japan had not considered a smaller program or non-lethal methods to study whale populations, and that it cited only two peer-reviewed scientific papers relating to its program from 2005 to the present _ a period in which it has harpooned 3,600 minke whales, a handful of fin whales, and no humpback whales.–AP/AFP