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Dolphins And Pilot Whales

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will consider imposing trade sanctions against Denmark in protest at the slaughter of dolphins and pilot whales in the Faroe Islands;(2) if he will make representations to the Danish Government regarding the slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands.

The Danish Government are fully aware of the United Kingdom's view on this issue, after my statement of our view on whaling at the International whaling Commission's annual conference in June. At meetings of the IWC the United Kingdom has already taken the lead, with the support of other countries, in securing the' detailed examination by the commission's working group on humane killing of the conditions under which the Faroese pilot whale hunt is conducted. As a result of the United Kingdom initiative the commission agreed a statement urging Denmark, which has responsibility for the international relations of the Faroe Islands, to encourage the Faroese authorities to modify those hunt practices giving rise to particular concern and to adopt more humane procedures. At the most recent IWC meeting in June, we registered our continuing concern and the IWC formulated a further statement calling for action by the Danes. A response is awaited. I raised this matter direct with the Danish Fisheries Minister when I saw him in Copenhagen last month.The Government do not consider that trade sanctions would be an appropriate means of influencing the Faroese attitude on this matter. We shall continue to work with like-minded countries through the IWC as the most appropriate forum through which to seek progress.