Bradshaw lays it on the line to Icelandic ambassador Published: 27 October, 2006
IN the wake of Iceland’s decision to authorise commercial whaling in spite of the internationally agreed moratorium, UK Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw yesterday summoned the Icelandic Ambassador, Mr Sverrir Haukur Gunnlaugsson,to reiterate the UK’s strong opposition to commercial whaling.
Speaking as a “friend and admirer” of the Icelandic people, Mr Bradshaw described how the UK was genuinely at a loss to understand why this decision had been taken. In a “frank and friendly” exchange of views, he made clear to the Ambassador that the UK, both government and people, abhorred the killing of whales, not least when there appeared to be no rational reason for so doing.
Mr Bradshaw asked the Ambassador to consider what reverting to commercial whaling was doing to the image and reputation of Iceland in countries with which Iceland conducted most of her trade and business, and where there was genuine affection and respect for a brave, tenacious and hardy people.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Bradshaw said:
The Ambassador can be in no doubt of the strength of feeling in this country over his government’s unnecessary and inexplicable decision. The UK Government regards the bloody slaughter of these animals as utterly pointless, with the methods used to kill fin whales especially cruel and abhorrent. The TV pictures of this magnificent animal being dragged alongside boats and then butchered in public were both sad and stomach churning. It was hardly the way to attract more visitors to Iceland.
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