Sea turns red with blood as whales slaughtered on Faroe Islands ‘brutal’ cull

Haunting images showed a coastal graveyard of dead whales of all ages and sizes cruelly picked as part of a mass slaughter that takes place in the arpeggio ever year. The tradition has been widely condemned and compared with other acts of animal cruelty such as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Dolphins are also targeted by those who chose to take part in the cull.

The waters in the North Atlantic island turn red ever year as part of a tradition called the Grindadráp by Danish residents.

The throats of the animals are sliced open and their bodies are left on the coast where blood trickles into the water.

The Faroese authorities have long maintained these events are not cruel and are carried out in accordance with international law as well as being sustainable and regulated.

Though the act has been widely condemned by activists.

One group claimed in the 2017 cull they saw more than 634 whales and dolphins killed.

One campaigner said their senses are still haunted by the "smell of death".

The activist said: "I am at home by my desk but I can still smell the sickening and pungent smell of death when I remember my time in Hvannasund.

"Men are carrying knives and ropes getting high on blood with the ritual killing of magnificent sentient beings for the sake of tradition.


"The entire community are enjoying the massacre. Danish tourists are considering themselves so damn fortunate."

The activist added: "I am told many times how blessed I am for the privilege of witnessing a Grind.

"Only a sadistic mind could see beauty in murder and suffering.

“A horrific and sad experience of senseless destruction. It will haunt me until I see the end of this obsolete and bloody tradition. Only then, I would be able to let them go in peace, knowing that no other whale or dolphin will suffer in their hands."

The Faroese authorities have told the Express previously: "Whale catches in the Faroe Islands are conducted in accordance with international law and globally recognised principles of sustainable development.

"Catches are sustainable and fully regulated by national laws and regulations, with a strong emphasis on animal welfare, and a requirement today for participants to be licenced to use the mandatory methods and equipment.

"Whale drives only take place in bays that are officially approved for the purpose, and only schools of whales found in close proximity to land, usually within one nautical mile, are driven ashore.

"The law explicitly states that the hunt is to be conducted in such a way as to cause as little suffering to the whales as possible.

"When the whales have beached themselves, they are killed. It takes a few seconds to kill each whale, and the entire pod is normally killed in less than ten minutes.

"The use of a spinal lance, designed by a Faroese veterinarian, ensures that the whales lose consciousness and die within a few seconds.

"The lance is inserted once through the animal's neck to break its spinal cord.

"The pilot whale hunt is dramatic and bloody by its nature. Entire pods of whales are killed on shores and in shallow bays at open sight. Naturally, this results in a lot of blood in the water."

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