A group of conservationist and animal rights groups called upon the US government to impose sanctions on Iceland, in response to the country’s whaling practices.
A press release from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) states that 19 separate groups called upon US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to invoke U.S. conservation legislation known as the Pelly Amendment against Iceland, “a move that could deal a death blow to Iceland’s out of control whaling industry,” the statement says.
The Pelly Ammendment gives the president the power to impose sanctions on countries it believes are undermining conservation agreements. In Iceland’s case, those agreements would be the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which bans commercial whaling, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which prohibits international commercial trade in whale products.
The Obama administration has said that it is examining Iceland’s commercial whaling practices, and “evaluating potential responses”.
“Now is the time for the U.S. to take robust measures against Iceland for its continued defiance of international law,” said Taryn Kiekow, staff attorney for the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council. “Iceland’s commercial whaling policy is considered archaic and cruel by the rest of the world and we ask the U.S. to impose trade sanctions against it.”
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