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  Whales 'at risk from pollution'
Updated 18 July 2004, 10.46
Whale splashing around
Whales are being poisoned by pollution, say wildlife campaigners, ahead of an international conference on whaling.

The Environmental Investigation Agency say toxic chemicals build up easily in animals like whales, putting them, and people who eat their meat, in danger.

The International Whaling Commission is meeting in Italy, and there are fears some countries may increase the number of whales they kill for research.

Many groups say this research is just badly disguised hunting for food.

More than 20,000 whales have been killed since the international ban on hunting them for food was introduced in 1986.

Japan, Norway and Iceland all want to reverse the ban.

But a group of 140 pro-whale groups called Whalewatch want the ban to be made even stronger, to include stopping whaling for research.

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