Monday, November 29, 2010

Improvements to the Method of Slaughter in the Dolphin Drive Hunt of Taiji, Wakayama

Below is a translation of the document that can be found in it's original format here >Improvements to the Method of Slaughter in the Dolphin Drive Hunt of Taiji, Wakayama (original Japanese report) Thank you to those who did the translation and in the spirit of mutual understanding we publish that translation below.

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ABSTRACT


Traditionally during Taiji's dolphin drive hunts, spear-shaped tools were used to slaughter dolphins for consumption. However, it has come to be known that the slaughter method implemented in the Faeroe Islands, which involves severing the cervical vertebrae and its surrounding veins, takes a shorter time to kill and is safer for workers. This is a report on the implementation of the latter method.

MATERIALS & METHOD


Slaughter knife and wedge currently in use (buoy attached to knife serves as a marker when knife is dropped underwater).Between December 2000 and February 2001, nine Risso's dolphins, four striped dolphins, two spotted dolphins and one pilot whale were slaughtered by severing the spinal cord. These were compared to the time to death of one striped dolphin slaughtered by the traditional method. Death was determined by the worker when movements and breathing ceased. In December 2008, complete implementation of the method on striped dolphins was attempted. In December 2009, an attempt was made to control the bleeding by inserting a wedge into the cut.

Figure 1: Slaughter knife and wedge currently in use (buoy attached to knife serves as a marker when knife is dropped underwater).

RESULT 

Time to death was shortened by the severing of the spinal cord.


Figure 2 

The Process of Severing the Spinal Cord. 

Since the blade is only at the tip of the device, the cut is quite small.




The Process of Severing the Spinal Cord.  Since the blade is only at the tip of the device, the cut is quite small.  Considering that a human fist is 10cm wide, the appropriate location for the cut was one fist's length behind the blowhole for striped dolphins and spotted dolphins, one-and-a-half fists' length for Risso's dolphins, and two fists' length for large pilot whales.




Figure 3 

Relationship between body length and the location of the cut.


Relationship between body length and the location of the cutGraph:
y-axis blowhole - trailing edge of the occipital bone (cm)
x-axis length (cm)
Dark Blue dots = Risso's Dolphins (18)
Pink dots = Striped Dolphins (4)
Yellow dots = Spotted Dolphins (5)
Teal dots = Long-Fin Pilot Whales (1)

 

 

Figure 4 

Preventing strandings (left), and using a wedge to control bleeding (right)

By using vinyl sheeting on the rocky area, whales are prevented from stranding. This made it simple to guide the striped dolphins to the killing location. As a result, cutting the spine of the species could be applied fully. Also, by driving in the wedge, external bleeding from the amputated wound was controlled. Bleeding out was done 10-30 minutes after killing, during the gutting process. However, no deterioration of flesh was observed through taste-testing.

Conclusion 

- Time spent on catching and killing can be reduced while improving safety for the workers.

- Bleeding can be controlled due to the wedge, preventing pollution of the sea surface due to blood, and reducing the potential application of using blood for industrial profit.

- The developer of the method cutting the spinal cord's has said that, by using the wedge, there is a fear that by retaining blood in the body death could be delayed. -- In the future, Faeroe Islands should review the time to death using a uniform indicator (dilation of the pupil)

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Note: This is a translated version of a report written in Japanese. For the original report, visit the link below. Improvements to the Method of Slaughter in the Dolphin Drive Hunt of Taiji, Wakayama (original Japanese report) ================================================================

5 comments:

  1. I appreciate the effort by your colleagues to translate into English. Now Rexy must be happy. Unfortunately, two points are not correct. I will be very much happy, if you will take my advice. The first point, one of the severing targets is not the cervical vertebrae but the cervical spinal cord (in ABSTRACT). The second point, the last sentence of CONCLUSION does not make sense and should be corrected as following, “In the future, it will be necessary to re-examine the killing time by the same criterion as the Faraoe Islands (mydriasis).”

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  2. In a way or in another, they remain murderers!

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  3. I'm with you Mina, any way you do it is cruel. They are murdering the equivalent of human children then eating them. It blows my mind.

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  4. I agree with Mina too. But I question why the cruelty? If they think they have a legitimate reason to kill them, why the cruel way of doing it? Pretty much shows you the hearts of these men. If they can do this to these beautiful, peaceful creatures for no reason at all......I sure wouldn't want to be their wives or their children.

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