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Last Updated: Monday, 10 May, 2004, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Blessed leads anti-whale protests
Brian Blessed
Brian Blessed calls for end to whale culling in Norway
Actor Brian Blessed has made an impassioned plea to stop the slaughter of whales in Norwegian waters.

He joined several placard-waving protesters outside the Norwegian embassy in central London.

Around 670 whales are expected to be culled during the whaling season between now and the end of August.

"The Norwegians have got their own oil, they farm, they don't need this, they are completely self-sufficient and very prosperous," Blessed said.

"Why in Hell's name do they want to kill whales? Whales are close to us - they have mothers and babies.

"We are guardians of this planet. And it's not just the Norwegians, it's the Japanese as well. They are going to kill 30,000 minke whales for research. Who are they kidding? If they die we die."

Commercial whaling

Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986 but more than 20,000 have been killed since the order came into force and more than 1,400 whales are expected to die this year alone.

Peter Davies, director general of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) said: "It is time that Norway, a country famed for the Nobel Peace Prize, applied the concept of peace and humanity to the whales that it will otherwise allow to be killed in an undeniably cruel way."

The row over whale culling is likely to resurface at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Italy during the summer.

Whalewatch will be lobbying the IWC to stop so-called "scientific" whaling operations, maintain the current ban on commercial hunting and bring the issue of cruelty back to the fore.

Liberal Democrat Environment spokesman Norman Baker added: "Whaling has no place in the 21st century, it is as out of date as sending small children up chimneys to clean them.

"It is very sad that a civilised country such as Norway insists on continuing this bloodshed."

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19 Jun 03  |  Science/Nature

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