An email has been circulating the cyberworld condemning the indiscriminate slaughter of pilot whales in Denmark. The gory, blood soaked sea of whales is a horrendous spectacle, enough to turn one's stomach. But is it really true?
According to one report it is true, but the 'perpetrators' defended the hunt as a practice that has existed for hundreds of years. In short, it is part of the culture of the Faroe Islanders, but it has raised the heckles of conservationists who have railed against Japanese whaling.
The manner in which a whale is dragged from the shallow water and killed is cruel, but the islanders claimed that it is painless:
Men gather on the shore to kill the beached whales. Ideally, most of the whales will strand far enough up on shore that it is unnecessary to secure them. However, those remaining in the shallows must be secured and hauled closer. Traditionally, this is done by driving a steel hook, or gaff, with a rope attached to it into the back of the whale. A new blunt hook inserted into an airsac in the whale’s blowhole has now been widely tested in practice and it is hoped that this new equipment may eventually replace the traditional gaff as the standard method for securing whales. The whale is killed using a sharp knife to cut down to sever the spinal cord, which also severs the major blood supply to the brain, ensuring both the loss of consciousness and death within seconds.
Judge for yourself.