Brosnan: You have no licence to kill whales

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The Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan took time off from his day job as James Bond yesterday to launch a yacht and an attack on whaling nations.

Brosnan, a celebrity spokesman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said that its new vessel would contribute much to the cause of whales. Taking a cue from 007, he said during the ceremony in London: "Norway, Iceland and Japan: you do not have a licence to kill the whales of the world. I'm standing here as a father. I want my children and my children's children to be able to enjoy whales."

Fred O'Regan, IFAW's president, said that despite an international ban on commercial whaling in 1986, more than 25,000 whales had been slaughtered, mostly under the guise of "scientific whaling". Norway was the only country to continue commercial whaling, while Japan and Iceland exploited loopholes in the agreement which permitted whales to be killed for research.

The Song of the Whale, which is fitted with quiet engines and a "whale-safe" propeller, would take part in the study of marine mammals without harming or interfering with them, Mr O'Regan said.

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