From Iceland — Law On Animal Slaughter Not Clear Enough

Law On Animal Slaughter Not Clear Enough

Published October 7, 2013

The Chief Veterinary Officer says that even if whales that beached themselves last month were inhumanely slaughtered, the case lacks evidence and the law itself is unclear on how a whale is to be “humanely” slaughtered.
As reported, last September ten pilot whales beached themselves near Rif, a fishing village in Snæfellsnes. Many locals took advantage of the windfall to help themselves to the whale meat. However, there were reports that some of these whales may have been alive when they were slaughtered.
Chief Veterinary Officer Sigurborg Daðadóttir now tells Vísir that no charges will be filed on the matter.
“We decided not to press charges simply because witness testimony did not match how the animals were slaughtered,” she said. “The current law does not say how beached whales should be killed, except that the whales can be shot and that they must be killed as mercifully as possible. If someone killed a beach whale by severing a major artery, it is not clear whether this violates the law.”
Sigurbjörg also said that her office had received no testimony that any whales had been alive while being slaughtered, contrary to what initial evidence indicated.
(The above photo is the tail of a sperm whale; not a pilot whale.)

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