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article imageJapan cross-breeding cows with whales in the name of research

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 8, 2008 in Crime
Scientists have analyzed 18 years of Japanese research on whales and found bizarre experiments such as cross-breeding cows with whales, test-tube whale babies and other oddities. More than 7,000 whales were killed during this period.
The Japanese justify their whale hunting for research reasons, but they hardly produce any tangible research publications or findings. Australian scientists investigating this claim have found bizarre experiments done by Japanese in the name of “whale research."
The Australian scientists’ delegates representing the International Whaling Commission (IWC) have analyzed 43 research papers produced by Japan during the last 18 years, which also saw the death of more than 7,000 whales. The scientists found all these papers were useless, strange or mysterious.
They will be presenting their findings at the London meeting of the IWC this weekend. They want to argue that “whale research” claims by Japanese are bogus and they try to use it as a loophole to hunt the whales.
The experiments reported in the research papers included injecting dead minke sperm into cow eggs, attempt to produce test-tube whale babies and thawing frozen whale sperm to see whether they would remain fertile later.
The Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research also injected cow and pig egg cells with minke whale cells.
Dr. Nick Gales, the head of Australia’s scientific delegation to the IWC, said the research work lacked any credibility. "(The research involves) really bizarre and very strange experiments with sheep and pigs and eggs. It's totally esoteric, very strange research."Dr. Gales also said the number of papers the lethal "research" produced - a mere 43 over 18 years - was incredibly small for a government-funded organization.
The Japanese research was supposed to show the mortality rates of the whales in these papers, but there is too much variation in the data presented. The Japanese claim in public that there is enough number of whales in the oceans.
The second phase of Japan’s scientific whaling program is about to begin, but based on the past 18 years, they have hardly accomplished any significant results from this “whale research."
Australia’s Environment Minister Peter Garrett said to AP the scientists’ analysis proves that Japan’s whale hunting is not for research purposes but is rather about the money.
I challenge anyone to look at this sort of research and say it's necessary, to say it requires killing over 7000 whales…This is why we say what is happening is not science, it's not necessary - it's commercial whaling."It is for money but also to satisfy the appetite for whale items sought by many Japanese consumers.
Scientists originally analyzed the first stage of Japan's whaling research in 2005 and published their findings in the renowned science journal Nature. They have updated this paper after the Japanese filed more papers on the subjects.
During this year’s main IWC meeting in Chile, Australia’s delegates are planning to push these arguments against Japanese whale hunting methods and want to impose a ban on them.
I hope the UN intervenes and stops the Japanese from whale hunting. At the very least, they should impose sanctions against them.
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