Hunters in the Faroe Islands have massacred another 23 whales, bringing the total to 536 killed this year alone.
Images from charity the Sea Shepherd reveal the sea turning blood red in an annual hunt.
Activists reported witnessing an unborn calf being cut from its dead mother’s womb as hunters killed whales for their meat.
Reports reveal children were witnessing the horrific show, and some were even seen jumping on the whale remains.
The Danish Islands are just 440 miles from the, and the tradition stems from centuries ago when the local population needed to stockpile meat over the winter.
Residents claim the hunt is sustainable and legal, but animal rights groups argue it is inhumane.
The Sea Shepherd has fought for years to have the tradition banned.
The organisation’s captain, Paul Wilson, wrote: “The killings in the Faroe Islands are brutal. The pilot whales or dolphins are driven onto beaches after long chases that are extremely stressful.
“They are killed with knives and lances and contrary to the ridiculous claims that the whales die within seconds, the fact is, and we have observed this each and every time, the slaughter is gruesomely long and the cetaceans suffer horrendously, thrashing, screaming, convulsing with their hot blood spurting from the vicious gruesome wounds into the cold sea.
‘Die in agony’
“They die in agony, hearing the painful screams and smelling and tasting the blood of their family members. Mothers seeing their calves slain, pregnant females desperate to escape and many dying while fruitlessly trying to help others to escape.”
The most recent killings took place in the bay of Hvalvik.
The campaign group said in a statement: “Over the course of the lengthy drive more and more members of the public and tourists could be seen stopping along the coastline to watch the family of pilot whales struggle and resist.
“As is often the case, the grind was swiftly becoming a social event with parents laughing and chatting as children played on the killing beach.
“The level of excitement was clearly growing as anticipation of the brutality came closer, epitomising the social aspect of the grind was the sight of a youth group – possibly a guides or scout group – sat eagerly watching and waiting.”
“Grind participants ran cheering into the pod to start attaching ropes and pulling individuals out to begin slaughtering.
“Though, as usual, the ‘humane’ process of killing the pilot whales was far from it, with multiple unsuccessful attempts to paralyse the with the lance were observed on a number of the pod.
“Having previously observed other pilot whale drives our crew noted that this pod had clearly been worn out or resigned to their fate as little to no cries were heard from the pod.
“As the family were laid out on the docks the all too familiar and disturbing images of children jumping on and playing with the dead could be seen.
“As the process continued crew witnessed one juvenile being laid out to be butchered and the harrowing sight of one unborn calf being cut from their mother’s womb.
“The calf appeared to be mere days or weeks from being born. In another case a small foetus was witnessed being removed.
“Our crew learnt from one participant that the unborn are not eaten and would later be ‘returned to the sea’, an eloquent way of saying their bodies will be unceremoniously dumped.
“The Faroese often talk of the tradition behind the grindadrap and specifically the respect shown to the pilot whales.
“Video and photographs from the 10th grind of 2019 clearly show this not to be the case, with images of people and tourists taking selfies with the murdered pod.
“Children were playing with fins, kicking and punching the bodies, walking on them and worryingly seen running around the dock carrying the traditional knives that are used as part of the grindadrap.”
What do you think of the annual whale hunt? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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