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International Whaling Commission

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will support measures at the June meeting of the International Whaling Commission that will end or seek to end imports of whale meat by Japan from Norway and Iceland.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality) (also in the Department for Energy and Climate Change), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

Trade matters are within the competence of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and outside that of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), the parent treaty of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The UK Government firmly support the CITES ban on the international trade in whale meat and whale products.

We are increasingly concerned about the trade in whale products between countries holding reservations to the CITES appendix I listing, or to countries which have not joined CITES. To eliminate the unacceptable risk of market-driven whaling in the future, we believe that contracting Governments to the IWC should lift all CITES reservations to cetacean species in order to aid negotiations on the future of the IWC.

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