The resumption of commercial whaling will be on the agenda at the International Whaling Commission meeting in May
Jo Swinson received a positive response today from Leader of the House Jack Straw over calls for a debate on commercial whaling.
With objections to the lifting of a ban on commercial whaling having been one of the main issues in her postbag from East Dunbartonshire residents recently, Jo raised the topic in Parliament today, asking Jack Straw:
“There is growing concern in this country and abroad about Japan’s efforts to use aid to other countries to encourage votes in favour of resuming commercial whaling.
“Given the International Whaling Commission meets at the beginning of May, can we have a debate in this House on international whaling?”
Jack Straw gave assurances that he would raise Jo’s concerns with fellow Ministers, and confirmed that he would seek the opportunity for a debate on commercial whaling.
Commenting later, Jo said:
“Today’s assurance over a debate on commercial whaling was a positive result for my constituents and the many others who are concerned about the resumption of commercial whaling.
“Signals from Japan of a desire to exert influence with the aim of having the ban on commercial whaling lifted must be resisted. There will be an opportunity to communicate this at the upcoming International Whaling Commission meeting in May, and a debate in Parliament is essential to consolidate Britain’s position ahead of these talks.
“I will be writing to the East Dunbartonshire residents who have contacted me about this issue to pass on this positive news to them.”
The 59th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission will take place from 5th – 31st May and is being held in Anchorage, USA.
Last year, the International Whaling Commission narrowly backed a resolution calling for the eventual return of commercial whaling. The ban on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1986 remains in place and will require support from three-quarters of the commission to be lifted.