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Dolphin hunting begins in Japan as protesters rally against brutal killings

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Dolphin hunting begins on Sept. 1, 2014 every year in Taiji, Japan, and the ghastly slaughter of these intelligent creatures doesn't end until the last day of February of the following year. The preferred method of rounding up and massacring these mammals in Taiji is called dolphin drive hunting or dolphin drive fishing. This is a practice wherein fisherman-cum-butchers round up the animals with their boats and herd them into the shallow waters of Taiji cove with no means of escape. Then the mass slaying takes place.

A Taiji fisheries association official announced the beginning of dolphin hunting season yesterday, reported MSN. "The dolphin hunting season started today and will last until the end of February." The opening of dolphin season coincides with the start of pilot whale hunting, which lasts until April. Dolphins and pilot whales are both mammalian species that give birth to live young and breastfeed their children, just like humans do.

When dolphin hunting begins, the season brings protesters with it. Thanks to the attention received by those who practice the killing of these mammals, the slaughter is frequently performed under cover of tents to hide the ghastly sight from the prying eyes of animal rights activists. Last year, a tent used to mask the brutality was seen with blood pouring from beneath its walls, reported Newser.

Back in 2010, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about the ancient tradition of dolphin hunting and asked for outsiders to respect the culture of Taiji, which practices the annual slaughter of dolphins, Mainichi noted at the time.

"The dolphin hunting is an ancient practice rooted in their culture and supports their livelihood. In every country and region, there are practices and ways of living and culture that have been handed down from ancestors. Naturally, I feel that they should be respected."

Many animal lovers are saddened each year when dolphin hunting begins, and this year was no different. Just one day before the start of the hunt, scores of protesters marched on Tokyo in opposition of the practice. Due to bad weather, the slaughter was postponed for a day. However, the next six months could see the killing of 1,900 dolphins, reported Yahoo!

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