“Is the man a fool?” asked Australia’s environment minister Ian Campbell in response to a letter written by Icelandic fisheries minister Arni Mathiesen that compared hunting whales to killing kangaroos and feral camels reports News.com.au.
Arni Mathiesen was responding to a letter from Ian Campbell which condemned Iceland’s whaling.
According to News.com.au Mr Campbell believes the method whaling nations use to kill whales – grenade-tipped harpoons – is barbaric, and has called for countries like Iceland to stop “scientific” culls.
Mr Mathiesen responded by saying Australia should detail the methods it employs to kill kangaroos and camels for stock management.
“The helicopter shootings of thousands of Australian feral camels and the killing of millions of Australian kangaroos annually are of special interest,” he said. “In light of your interest in the issue of killing methods I assume that Australia will submit relevant data on these activities to the forthcoming workshop on whale killing methods and associated welfare issues at [the next International Whaling Commission meeting].”
According to News.com.au Mr. Campbell was “furious” saying, “Is he asking us to submit detail of biodiversity on range-lands to a meeting on whales? They should be deeply embarrassed by this.”
Mr Campbell said killing whales was nothing like culling kangaroos and camels.
“To contemplate comparing the culling of kangaroos, which is in the interests of the environment, to the killing of whales, is outrageous,” Mr Campbell said.
“We can create the evidence that shows why we need to cull kangaroos. You would have to ask, ‘is destroying the top of the food chain in Iceland helping the global environment?'”
News.com.au reports that Mr Campbell said killing whales for “scientific” purposes was “an insult to science”.