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TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

Ishikawa, H.

Ishikawa, H. and Mogoe, T. 2003. Report of experiments to compare Norwegian and Japanese penthrite grenades and improvement of the Japanese grenade in the Japanese Whales Research Programs. Submitted by Japan to the 2003 IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. IWC/55/WK23. Kuraev, S. 2000. Letter from the State Committee of the Russian Federation For Environmental Protection. Submitted to the 2000 IWC Working Group on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. Adelaide, Australia. IWC/52/WKM&AWI5. Marsh, N. and Bamber, C. 1999. Development of a specialised round and firearm for the humane euthanasia of stranded sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in New Zealand. Submitted to the 1999 IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods. IWC/51/WK5. RSPCA 1997. Stranded Cetaceans: guidelines for veterinary surgeons. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, West Sussex, UK. Stachowitsch, M. and Brakes, P. 2003. Review of secondary killing methods employed for whales hunted under special permit, commercial whaling and aboriginal subsistence whaling. Submitted by Austria and co-sponsored by New Zealand, to the IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. Berlin, Germany. June 7-9 2003. IWC/55/WK22. Suisted, R. 1999. National Standard Template for the construction of Area Office Marine Mammal Stranding Contingency Plans, Standard Operating Procedure. Department of Conservation, PO-Box 10-420, Wellington, New Zealand. Øen, E.O. and Knudsen, S.K. 2003. Euthanasia of whales: wounding effect of rifle calibre. 375 and .458 round nosed full metal jacketed bullets on minke whale central nervous system. Submitted by Norway to the IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. Berlin, Germany. 7-9 June 2003. IWC/55/WK15. Footnotes 1 Note that DoC does not recommend the use of drugs for euthanasing stranded cetaceans, due to concerns relating to the disposal of contaminated carcasses. 2 Japan reported that during the 2000/2001 JARPA hunt in the Antarctic the “relatively bad sea conditions and larger body size of whales” taken in areas V and VI were responsible for the longer times to death than in areas III and IV (Ishikawa 2001). 3 This was evidenced by data from Japan, presented in 2003, which demonstrated that a swifter kill was achieved for minke whales less than 7.5 metres in length (Ishikawa and Mogoe 2003). 4 Stachowitsch and Brakes note that despite the 9.3mm recommendation by Norway, more that one bullet is often required. EUTHANASIA OF CETACEANS 83

84 A REVIEW OF THE WELFARE IMPLICATIONS OF MODERN WHALING ACTIVITIES 11 Review of criteria for determining death and insensibility in cetacea Andrew Butterworth, Research Fellow, Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol Veterinary School, Langford, N Somerset, BS40 5DU, UK The technology used for killing whales has altered little since the invention of the grenade tipped harpoon in 1840, the only significant change being the introduction of penthrite explosive (pentaerythritol tetranitrite) rather than black powder in the grenade – chapters 2 and 6 detail the development of the killing ‘technique’. For an assessment of the welfare implications of any commercial slaughtering process, accurate knowledge of the ‘time to death’ (TTD) is a valuable measure because it allows a reference point for the period during which the animal could potentially suffer. In the commercial slaughter of various farmed species (e.g. cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry), techniques have been developed to reduce the time between the application of the stunning method, the point of insensibility, and the time of death induced by bleeding out (chapter 12). For whales hunted at sea and killed by harpoon, such fine ‘control’ of the killing environment is not likely to be possible. However, for an informed discussion on the potential for suffering, it is important to determine the point at which the dying whale becomes insensible to pain, and the point at which it dies. If the time between harpoon impact and insensibility is prolonged there is the potential for significant suffering. Recognising the need for data in this area, an International Whaling Commission (IWC) Workshop on Humane Killing Techniques was held in Cambridge, UK in 1980, and defined three criteria which could be used by observers onboard whaling vessels to establish the time of death in hunted whales: • Relaxation of the lower jaw; or • No flipper movement; or • Sinking without active movement (IWC 1980). Subsequently, various interpretations of these criteria have been made in IWC documents: Muscles relaxed; mouth opened wide; or Lower jaw drifted in the waves (IWC 1994). Relaxation of the mandible; cessation of flipper movement; or Sinking without any active swimming (IWC 1999). The IWC criteria for the death of the whale are ‘exclusive’ – any single criteria can be met for the animal to be deemed dead, and for a time from harpoon impact to time of death (TTD) to be recorded. The whaling nations are requested to submit data on killing methods and killing efficiency to the IWC annually. Analysis of recently collected data which uses the three point criteria described above indicate that the TTD for the approximately 1,300 minke whales killed annually by the

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