Hvalur hf. violates animal welfare regulations

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) has temporarily stopped the harpoon ship Hvalur 8 due to serious violations of animal welfare regulation.

In a short statement on their website, MAST explains their decision as follows:

“During surveillance, it was found that the first shot of Hval 8 on September 7 hit the animal outside the specified target area, with the result that the animal was not killed immediately. In such cases, hunters must, according to new regulation, shoot the animal without delay again. It wasn’t done until almost half an hour later, and the whale died a few minutes after that. Such a delay is considered a violation of the Animal Welfare Act and the regulation on fin whaling.” (automatically translated).

Hard To Port’s photographer Boris Niehaus gathered important evidence of this incident in the early morning hours of September 8th when the animal was brought to shore. Hard To Port immediately informed the media about the observed irregularities and forwarded our footage to Katrín Oddsdóttir, lawyer at Réttur – Aðalsteinsson & Partners ehf. who sent a request to MAST to stop whaling immediately.

The Icelandic police monitor the area and check people who arrive at the gates of the whaling station. In the picture in conversation with the managing director Kristján Loftsson.
Photo credit: Boris Niehaus | Hard To Port
Whaling station staff start the butchering process shortly after Hvalur 8’s arrival in Hvalfjörður.
Photo credit: Boris Niehaus | Hard To Port.

Icelandic newspaper Heimildin reported about the incident.

UPDATE: Video footage of this particular hunt / incident was published in Icelandic media. The whale in the video was inaccurately shot with the first harpoon, which pierced the head of the animal. A delayed shot was fired almost 30 minutes later. (Viewer discretion advised)

Despite the incident during the first hunting trip of the 2023 whaling season, operations of whaling ship Hvalur 9 were allowed to continue.

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