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Japan dolphin hunt: Cruel dolphin killing ritual truly troubles U.S. Ambassador

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A Japan dolphin hunt in which Japanese fisherman round up these intelligent animals into a small cove and systemically start killing them for meat has been said to be truly troubling to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, this week. In an official statement on Sunday, she said that she remains “deeply concerned” by the way this cruel and traditional ritual continues to exist within western Japan, despite somewhat international disapproval. MSN News discusses this Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, the female Ambassador’s statement and what this chase actually involves.

The Japan dolphin hunt has been around for decades, but only recently has Caroline Kennedy, the longstanding U.S. ambassador to our ally Japan, expressed how the dolphin round-up troubles her. In this ritual called cruel by many, local huntesr and fishermen essentially corral many dolphins into a remote bay, then kill most of them, only letting a few be captured for transportation to a marine park or study facility.

Taiji Cove is the site of this truly mass slaying, and the annual dolphin hunt even received its own special documentary, called “The Cove,” that brought this controversial issue into the public spotlight.

"(I am) deeply concerned by inhumanness of drive hunt dolphin killing," Kennedy tweeted during the weekend, noting that the U.S. government opposes drive hunt fishing.

Within this traditional ritual, the Japan dolphin hunt involves Taiji fishermen driving literally hundreds of dolphins into a far-secluded cove. Some are captured for marine parks sales, while the majority are then killed for their meat.

Although this act has been met with harsh criticism by not only a troubled U.S. Ambassador but disapproval from other parts of the world, Japan sees no reason to stop the process, and they do not find it inhumane. Not even the award-winning “Cove” documentary has changed their minds, and many Japanese actually found the film a mockery of their culture.

“Japan has long maintained that killing dolphins is not banned under any international treaty and that the animals are not endangered, adding that dolphins need to be culled to protect fishing grounds.”

Dolphins also hit headlines this week after a strange scientific study finding that these intelligent animals may eat puffer fish meat so that they can receive a psychedelic “high” off its toxins.



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