John Kerry Wins Profiles in Compassion Award

John Kerry has won this year’s Profiles in Compassion award from The Animal Welfare Institute. From their press release:

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has announced Senator John Kerry (D-MA) as the latest recipient of its “Profiles in Compassion” award, recognizing his strong commitment to protecting animals and their habitats. One of the few members of the US Senate to rate a perfect 100 percent on AWI’s Compassion Index (www.compassionindex.org), Senator Kerry recently introduced S. Con. Res. 86, a resolution that calls on the Bush Administration to stand up for whales at the annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting to be held in Chile later this month.

“In the face of increasing pressure from pro-whaling nations, the US must reclaim its historic position as a leader in whale conservation and support the moratorium on commercial whaling. The time is running short to protect the world’s dwindling whale populations,” said Senator Kerry, who has been actively working on the whaling issue for years. In February, he was co-host with House Natural Resources Committee Chair Nick Rahall of a Save the Whales Again! press conference featuring actress Hayden Panettiere.

The United States is the current chair of the IWC, the international body founded over 60 years ago to be responsible for the conservation of whales. Since that time, a ban on commercial whaling has been instituted, two sanctuaries have been established, and attitudes toward whale conservation have improved. However, Japan, Norway and Iceland have flouted the whaling ban and continue to whale for commercial gain by exploiting loopholes in the IWC Convention. Under the moratorium, these countries have killed more than 25,000 whales, including over 11,000 who were taken under the guise of “scientific research.” Norway and Iceland have also resumed the trade in whale meat with Japan, in flagrant defiance of an international ban on such trafficking.

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