EU under huge pressure to punish Faroe Islands after horror dolphin slaughter

Speaking to LBC on Tuesday following the gruesome hunt which alone killed an estimated 2 percent of the Atlantic white-sided dolphin population, conservationist John Hourston said the European Union are simply not doing enough to stop the Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory within Denmark, continuing the “barbaric” practice. He called for sanctions to be levelled on the tiny island nation if they continued hunting the protected dolphins before the species is hunted to extinction as he branded the bloc as not acting to protect vital environmental interests.

Mr Hourston said pressure must be ramped up to end the carnage as the Faroe Islands are an autonomous territory with the ability to set their own laws.

He went on to claim how the Islands have simply not had enough pressure applied on them from the European Union or Denmark to tackle the horrific practice which has got so out of hand that the hunt on Sunday was in fact not a designated event and thus illegal.

The activist also slammed the bloc and Denmark for allowing the issue to go untouched for decades despite efforts by campaigners.

He added: “It has really been complacency that has allowed this and I guess under the guise of a traditional hunt… it’s a bit of a touchy subject to tackle.

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“But when you are talking about killing 1,500 dolphins in one hunt – two percent of the highest estimate of the North Atlantic population in one go, then this is a different scale altogether.”

He added: “Speak to the Faroe Islands about this, tell them it is unacceptable and if they still continue to kill intelligent animals in such a barbaric fashion, then we should look at sanctions!”

It comes as Sea Shepherd, a charity that campaigns against the hunting of whales and dolphins, explained the figures were so high due to the fact hunters had hauled in a “superpod” of the species a mere 230km off Britain’s coast.

Mr Hourst went on to explain how the dolphins were herded for hours from the ocean by speed boats into small Fjords (inlets) in an area called Skalabotnur where they were then forced to beach themselves.

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The conservationist described in gruesome detail how hunters waiting on the shore then descended on the beach, placing a hook in the blowhole of the protected species before dragging the animals along the beach and slitting their throats.

Rob Read, chief operations officer at Sea Shepherd, told the i newspaper: “This is, we believe, the largest ever single hunt of dolphins or pilot whales in Faroese history — the next largest being 1,200 pilot whales back in 1940 — and is possibly the largest single hunt of cetaceans ever recorded worldwide.

“For such a hunt to take place in 2021 in a very wealthy island community just 230 miles from the UK, with no need or use for such a vast quantity of undoubtedly contaminated meat, is outrageous.

“This happened also towards the end of this summer when the Faroese have already killed 615 long-finned pilot whales and their freezers are already full.

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“It is no surprise therefore that this latest unprecedented hunt is being criticised in the Faroese media and even by many outspoken pro-whalers and politicians in the Faroe Islands.”

Sea Shephard added: “Footage shows many of the dolphins were still alive and moving even after being thrown onshore with the rest of their dead pod.”

While the charity also revealed how some dolphins had been run over by speedboats which inflicted fatal propeller wounds resulting in a slow and painful death.

British naturalist and Spring Watch presenter Chris Packham said: “Sunday was not only one of the darkest days for wildlife but for humanity, because the Faroese proved they have precious little of that.”