In this latest case of senseless dolphin cruelty, Japan held a “pre-Olympics test event” in which live dolphins were forced to perform tricks for a crowd.

And as if confining dolphins in inappropriately small cages and making them entertain humans for endless hours wasn’t bad enough, the way in which these dolphins were brought into captivity makes the situation even more upsetting.

During the nation’s infamously inhumane annual “tradition” known as the Taiji dolphin hunt, these poor creatures were chased into a cove by hunters so that they couldn’t escape capture. While thousands of their fellow dolphins were brutally slaughtered during the hunt, these special few were chosen for their “show quality” and imprisoned in concrete tanks, a fate which may arguably be even worse than death.

Despite worldwide public outrage against these unfathomably cruel practices, they are sadly still alive and well in modern-day Japan. In the words of David Phillips, executive director of the International Marine Mammal Project headed by Earth Island Institute, the recent pre-Olympic event “is a crucial reminder of how the Japanese government and the Japanese Olympic Committee are exploiting dolphins and whales, in defiance of the rest of the world.”

He went on, “These dolphins are kept hungry in order to do the tricks. They are kept in inhumane confinement in small, highly chlorinated concrete tanks. And, worse, they were captured in the most inhumane way possible, torn from the wild and their families, which are slaughtered without mercy.”

Rightfully disgusted by the fact that blatant abuse of these intelligent cetaceans is still occurring in Japan, the International Marine Mammal Project is urging the nation’s government to put a stop to the slaughtering of dolphins and whales. Further, the organization is calling on Japan to establish and enforce a ban on the sale of dolphin and whale meat, plus pledge to end the exploitation of these animals for human enjoyment — not just ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but for good.

If you agree that what Japan is allowing is absolutely inexcusable, please use your voice to help condemn the hunting and capture of dolphins by signing this petition and this petition organized by the International Marine Mammal Project.

In addition, be sure to share what you’ve learned here with everyone in your network. The more people there are standing up against dolphin and whale killing and exploitation, the more likely the Japanese government is to pay attention and take action to save these majestic cetaceans from horrific fates!

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