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School children deliver clear message to EU
Please stop whaling!
A mass postcard petition against the return of commercial whaling has been hand-delivered to the EU Commissioner For The Environment on 22nd June 2010, 11:30 hours with help from the National Seal Sanctuary.

An anti-whaling protest by more than 180,000 people from 11 different countries was taken to the heart of the EU this morning.

Thousands of postcards filled in by visitors to the National Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, calling for an end to whaling were among those delivered to European Commissioner For The Environment, Janez Potocnik, in Brussels at 11:30am.
School children deliver clear message to EU
School children from the little town of Dudzele near Brugge (Belgium) delivered the postcards in mail sacks bearing 11 different national flags representing the nations concerned.

The handover is timely as the International Whaling Commission (IWC) votes this week on a proposal to lift the current 24 year long ban on commercial whaling.

The proposal was feared all the more likely to succeed because of a farcical EU voting system that forced the EU Member States to abstain on the issue of whaling unless they are unanimous, rather than allowing the vast majority to vote against it.
School children deliver clear message to EU However, pressure on the EU to rectify this situation in recent days has resulted in an agreed EU position to phase out whaling albeit in an unspecified time frame.

The postcard petition was initiated by Sea Life Centres & Sanctuaries across the UK and their campaign partner, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), and has been run throughout centres across Europe and in the US.

"Now it is the turn of the European Union to take a clear position against whaling", said Chris Butler-Stroud, WDCS chief executive.
"This petition proves that Europe's citizens are strongly opposed to whaling, as are many individual EU Member States, but the European Union, as a block, has failed to stand strong against moves to bring back commercial whaling in recent months.

"Indeed, the EU's dithering may well help commercial whaling return. This is appalling and not in the interests of whales or the peoples of Europe."

Sea Life's Senior Marine Biologist Rob Hicks said he was delighted that so many people had signed up in support of efforts to end whaling.

"We really hope EU ministers will heed their wishes and take the important step of blocking this latest move to get whaling legalised," he said.

"There is no humane way to kill a whale, no sustainable market for whale meat and no ethical justification for continuing to butcher these magnificent animals."

Laura Ward from the National Seal Sanctuary commented; "We're proud to have been part of such an important campaign and thank our visitors for helping with this".
Photos: The first image is of the children with the postcard mountain, the second is of the children, the mountain, and the EU Commissioner for the Environment, in which you will see all the different flags.

More Hi-res images of postcard delivery and postcard mountain available from:

PR Officer, Sea Life, Ellie Cowley (44) 01202 440066.

Or

WDCS Press Office on 01249 449 534, 07834 498 277 or email press@wdcs.org

For further information please call: Ellie Cowley (44) 01202 440066

Or

WDCS Press Office on 01249 449 534, 07834 498 277 or email press@wdcs.org
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Note to Editors
1. Established back in 1987, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), is the leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of all whales and dolphins (also known as cetaceans). In short, we are the world voice for the protection of these animals, creating pressure to bring about change.

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