Yesterday afternoon I hosted a Parliamentary reception on behalf of the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), to help to draw attention to the importance of the forthcoming annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The IFAW and other organisations have expressed serious reservations about the proposal being put forward at this meeting, which would bring an end to the moratorium on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1986.
At the conference later this month countries will debate a compromise proposal which would allow the IWC to set catch limits, rather than whaling countries setting their own limits for "scientific research". This limit would be fixed for 10 years and would effectively reduce whaling in the short term, but would legitimise the cruel slaughter of the animals in the long-run, with no guarantee that the limits would be retained.
I am personally strongly opposed to any form of whaling, and with the coalition Government committed to opposing any end to the moratorium, it is important we ensure that this proposal is defeated at the conference this month.