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Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) which other governments he plans to send copies of ‘Protecting Whales—A Global Responsibility’ document this year; and if he will make a statement; (181195)

(2) to which other governments the ‘Protecting Whales—A Global Responsibility’ document has been sent; on which date the document was sent in each instance; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has led efforts to recruit more conservation-minded countries to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) through our publication 'Protecting Whales—A Global Responsibility'. This publication has recently been updated and was re-released on 21 December 2007. In the coming weeks, posts will deliver the updated version to host governments, and will continue to engage in discussions with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity.

This year, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has written to 18 countries, encouraging them to join the IWC for the greater protection of whales.

'Protecting Whales—A Global Responsibility' has been sent to over 60 countries, both anti and pro-whaling, encouraging them to join the effort to protect these species. Listing these countries could compromise our efforts to persuade them to join the IWC and adopt an anti-whaling stance.