Last week, the Stop the Grind coalition received a letter from UK Minister Zac Goldsmith. This was in response to a letter we sent the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) informing them of our submission to the Faroe Islands government consultation on the Grindadrap and other campaign activities. The key points from their response are:
The UK government position is aligned with the Stop the Grind campaign – mainly that ‘The UK is strongly opposed to the hunting of any cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), other than some limited activities by indigenous people for clearly defined purposes. We believe that the hunting of cetaceans is unacceptably cruel and that well-managed, responsible tourism is the only truly sustainable interaction with these animals;’
The government has made clear its concerns, which are: (1) concern over the welfare and sustainability aspects of the Faroese cetacean hunts, and (2) the levels of domestic regulation currently in place;
Zac Goldsmith has engaged on this matter following the September 12th Grind to express the UK government’s concern and is committed to continue to engage on the Grind issue – ‘I have written to the Faroese fisheries minister to express the UK’s opposition to the hunt that took place on the 12 September, and the continued hunting of cetaceans in the Faroe Islands on both animal welfare and conservation grounds;
Zac Goldsmith has also pushed the Faroese government to extend its Grind consultation beyond ‘dolphins only’ to include all cetaceans – ‘We have advocated to the Faroese Government that they expand the scope of the evaluation to incorporate all species of cetacean that are hunted in the Faroe Islands;’
We believe that this response demonstrates that we are aligned with the UK government view and there is a potential for working together on this important issue. We very much appreciate the support of Mr Goldsmith and his cabinet in our mission to #stopthegrind.