Picture credits “Kurt Soderling, Lesley Vogel, Gene Young, Colin Drummond” Save the Whales Again! Campaign spokesperson Hayden Panettiere appeared at a press conference in Washington D.C. with Congressmen Nick Rahall (D), Chris Shays (R), and Senator John Kerry (D). The hi-powered group called on the Bush Administration to stand up for whales at the International Whaling Commission and take diplomatic and economic action against the whaling countries of Japan, Norway, and Iceland.
Earlier in the week, Hayden kicked off her trip with a campaign rally in Dupont Circle and a lecture at Georgetown University where she urged students to get involved and vote in the upcoming Presidential election. She then met with representatives from the embassies of the nations that continue to kill whales for commercial purposes – Japan, Iceland and Norway – to question their outdated practices and ask their respective leaders to stop whaling or face an international boycott.
Later she met presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to obtain his views on the subject and earlier in the day Ms. Panettiere thanked Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for her staunch opposition to the Japan’s, Norway’s, and Iceland’s government sponsored whaling programs. “Whales face increasing threats from climate change, ship strikes, entanglement in nets, and chemical and noise pollution, yet Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to kill them in increasing numbers,” said Hayden. “I am here to talk with officials who actually make and carry out our policies, as well as fellow young people who will be voting in the upcoming election. Polls show that 59% of Americans would be more willing to vote for a candidate who takes a strong stand on whaling- I want our voice to be heard!”
The press conference was hosted by House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Chair Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Collectively they urged the US Government to reinstate its former leadership role protecting whales from commercial slaughter. Despite the public’s interest in protecting whales, US leadership on whale issues has significantly declined over the past seven years under the Bush Administration. Most recently, the United States refused to join with 30 nations and the European Commission in a diplomatic protest against Japan’s Antarctic whaling program.
“We are at a critical point with respect to the whale populations of the planet.” said Senator John Kerry. “Traditionally the United States has been the leader on this issue and we have made that leadership known. We are here today to re-assert America’s responsibility on this issue. I urge Chairman Hogarth and the entire US Delegation to work to ensure that the integrity of the commercial whaling moratorium and strongly oppose any efforts to weaken the core elements of the International Whaling Commission.” “Recent polls show that over 75 percent of registered voters oppose whaling, and over two thirds want our government to do something about it, yet to this point, little has been done to stop the increasing slaughter,” said Jeff Pantukhoff, president and founder of The Whaleman Foundation and executive director of the Save the Whales Again! Campaign. “We need the United States to reflect the will of its people and lead the way in taking all necessary actions against Japan, Norway and Iceland until the killing stops.”
Here’s what you can do:
1. Write, e-mail, or call President Obama and let him know that you want the US to use its sanctioning powers available under the Pelly Amendment against Japan, Norway, and Iceland until they stop whaling.White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111. White House Fax Line: (202) 456-2461.
Compose and Send a message directly to President Obama:
President Obama’s mailing address:
President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20500.
2. Write or call your US Representatives and Senators and let them know that you want the US to invoke the Pelly Amendment against Japan, Norway, and Iceland until they stop whaling.
US Capitol Switchboard: (202) 456-1414.