On December 20th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
reversed a previous trial court decision and halted, for a second time,
the killing of gray whales off the coast of Washington by the Makah tribe.
The court ruled in favor of plantiffs (composed of the Fund for Animals,
The HSUS, and others) who argued that in allowing the hunt, the government
had not only failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act,
but had also violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
NEPA requires the
government to study the ways in which the Makah whale hunt could adversely
affect the environment before authorizing the hunt, and the MMPA expressly
prohibits whaling, while creating an exemption for Alaskan tribes but not
for the Makah. Said Michael Markarian, president of The Fund for Animals,
"We are elated that the court has put a stop to this illegal and inhumane
whale hunt. American citizens want our whales to be protected, not
persecuted. The government has twice failed to produce an environmental
study to justify this activity, and it should stop fleecing American
taxpayers to promote whale hunting."
The 54-page decision is available at
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