The Danish Faroe Islands may not have been killed so many dolphins and friends during the annual mass slaughter. Over 1400 marine mammals were killed last weekend, according to animal welfare organization Sea Shepherd.
The previous record was in 1940 when more than 1200 friends and dolphins were slaughtered in the waters around the islands. On average, around 600 animals are killed during the annual tradition, local authorities say. “The death of more than 1,400 dolphins and friends is probably the highest number ever measured,” says the animal welfare organization.
Killing these numbers of animals leads to outrage, including among the locals. Even the chairman of the islands whaling calls the numbers “excessive”. He says its an error of judgment. Some 200 animals were assumed. “Someone should have known better,” he tells the BBC. “Most people were in shock.”
Following the last slaughter, the local public service broadcaster conducted a survey of the population asking whether the tradition should be maintained. Just over half say they dont, just over 30 percent think they do, according to a broadcaster journalist.
Sea Shepherd made video footage of the slaughter:
Friends are a kind of dolphins. The marine mammals travel along the Faroe Islands, a group of islands between Britain and Iceland every summer. The “Grindadráp”, Faroese bird hunting is a centuries-long fishing tradition on the island group.
Residents of the islands hunt the animals in small boats, towards a few beaches. There they are met by other Faroese people who walk into the water and stab the animals to death.
Proponents argue that if killing the animals are done correctly, it is humane. With special knives and spears, the spine is cut and the animal succumbs in seconds, they say.
“From an animal welfare point of view, its a good way to get meat, far better than keeping cows and pigs captive,” says an MP.