PH animal rights activists protest annual Japan dolphin hunt

Abner Mercado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 02 2017 11:55 AM | Updated as of Sep 02 2017 01:20 PM

MANILA – Animal rights activists again trooped to the Japanese embassy in Pasay City Saturday morning to protest the annual dolphin-hunting season in Japan.

The protesters, which included members of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Earth Island Institute Philippines, along with concerned individuals, were armed with placards asking Japan to stop the slaughter of the animals. 

They also called on tourists to stop watching the hunt.

Protests against the annual hunt for dolphins in Japan came to a head when documentary "The Cove" won the Academy Award in 2010.

The documentary was panned as "false and not based on scientific facts" by local officials in the western Japanese town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture, who pleaded with the public to understand their tradition and culinary culture.

"The Cove", directed by National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, touches on health hazards posed by high levels of mercury possibly found in dolphin meat. 

It also showed a confrontation between residents and Ric O'Barry, a former dolphin trainer who is now a rights activist.

In 2015, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums said it would stop acquiring dolphins caught in drive hunts off Taiji after facing the risk of expulsion from a global zoo body.