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Horrific Images Show Children Watching As Almost 1500 Dolphins Slaughtered In Faroe Islands

Joanna Freedman

| Last updated 

Horrific Images Show Children Watching As Almost 1500 Dolphins Slaughtered In Faroe Islands

Featured Image Credit: Sea Shepherd

*This article contains imagery and video footage of animal slaughter that some may find distressing*

Horrific imagery and video footage shows children watching as a 'super-pod' of almost 1,500 dolphins were slaughtered on the coast of the Faroe Islands last night.

The hunt, which is said to be the worst in the area's history, and maybe even globally, saw 1428 white-side dolphins meet their ends after hunters cornered them and stabbed them to death.

The huge pod were herded 40km into the Danish waters before being rounded up and murdered late on Monday night.

The bloodshed caused the sea to turn red, and all the dolphin carcasses were left on the shore - a symbol of the sheer magnitude of the killing spree.

Beware, the below video contains graphic imagery of dolphins being slaughtered:


In video footage, shared by activist group Sea Shepherd, the herding of the dolphins can be seen first hand, as boats surround the terrified animals that aren't yet dead, and stop them fleeing. The creatures try to escape their violent fate, and thrash helplessly against the spears.

Perhaps most heartbreakingly, children are among those watching as the dead dolphins begin to pile on the sand - some still dying slow and painful deaths.

The Faroe Islands has a strong tradition of killing dolphins for meat, much like Japan's Taiji, and many see the slaughter - known locally as “grindadráp” - as part of their culture.

There is debate from some activists activists about how many of these animals are actually sold for meat and how many are killed to maintain a vital supply of fish to support the highly lucrative fishing trade.

Children were among those watching the slaughter (Credit: Sea Shepherd)
Children were among those watching the slaughter (Credit: Sea Shepherd)

Blue Planet Society took to social media to condemn the mass killing on Monday, describing the murder as "hideously cruel" and "irresponsible".

The Faroe Islands have a population of 53,000, meaning they are unlikely to be able to consume all the dolphins they have killed, the charity has argued.

"There is absolutely no excuse for a modern, wealthy country to be continuing with such archaic and barbaric animal cruelty in the 21st century," they said.

Speaking to Tyla, John Hourston, a volunteer for the organisation, added: "The unsustainable slaughter of 1428 dolphins appears to be unprecedented.

"Some Faroe islanders are calling it the biggest grindadráp in history and there are records dating back to 1584.

"In sheer numbers it's comparable to the mass slaughter of the north American bison and we all know what happened then.

"Denmark and the EU can't turn a blind eye to this one. We're talking about a population level slaughter, a massacre of a protected species."

The group went on to urge the EU, alongside Denmark authorities, to end such cruel practices.

The slaughtered dolphins were laid out on the shore (Credit: Sea Shepherd)
The slaughtered dolphins were laid out on the shore (Credit: Sea Shepherd)

"Denmark and the EU need to start talking seriously with the Faroe government. If that fails then sanctions must be considered," he continued.

"This blatant disregard for protected cetaceans cannot continue."

Grindadráp first begun in the 16th century, and the hunt has been going on even longer than this.

Prior to this slaughter, the largest on record was that of 430 white-sided dolphins, which were killed in Hvalba back in 2013.

This means it's the largest dolphin culling in the history of the Faroe Islands - and maybe even the world, according to activists.

You can click here to support Sea Shepherd, who are campaigning to protect dolphins from slaughter, and click here to support Blue Planet Society. The Dolphin Project, found here, is doing similar work to protect dolphins worldwide, and in particular in Taiji, Japan, from similar slaughters.

Topics: Animals, News

Joanna Freedman
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