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JAZA to support dolphin breeding

Japan

The top official of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums says the group will support members in dolphin-breeding efforts.

The association decided on May 20th to ban member aquariums from acquiring dolphins caught through the method known as drive hunting in Taiji Town, western Japan.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums had criticized such purchases.

The chairman of the Japanese association, Kazutoshi Arai, spoke at a news conference after a general meeting in Hyogo Prefecture on Friday.

Arai said no aquarium or zoo had expressed an intention to withdraw from the group.

He said he believes it's reasonable for aquariums to obtain dolphins caught through drive hunting. But he said that given the ban, they have to increase the population of the mammal through breeding.

The chairman said his association will provide technology developed by aquariums that have bred dolphins successfully.

He said the association will study a system to monitor how member aquariums obtain dolphins. He added that the Japanese group plans to inform the international organization of the new policies by early July.

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