The vast majority of Icelanders polled believe whale hunting should be done “humanely” – although there does not as yet exist a definitive outline for what that would entail.
Vísir reports that, according to a Gallup poll conducted on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), 73% of Icelanders believe it is important that whaling be conducted humanely. 59.3% also believe whaling is already done humanely.
“It is clear that Icelanders are concerned about animal welfare,” IFAW – Iceland spokesperson Sigursteinn Másson told reporters. “Unfortunately, there is no information on how whaling near Iceland is conducted, so the general public cannot make an informed decision on whether whaling is humane or not.”
However, Sigursteinn points out that whales are mammals with a highly developed nervous system, “which means they feel pain and experience fear in a way similar to humans.”
Amongst whale hunting countries, WhaleWatch reports, “Norway reported that one in five whales (20%) failed to die instantaneously during 2002, whilst Japan reported that the majority of whales, almost 60%, failed to die instantaneously in 2002/3,” adding that “[a]ccording to the whaling nations’ data the average time to death is 2-3 minutes, although some whales have been reported as taking up to an hour and a half to die.”
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