Australia’s Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator Ian Campbell has condemned Iceland’s decision to pursue 'scientific’ whaling saying it is nothing more than wanton slaughter.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has reported the Iceland Government had issued three Special Permits to take minke whales for the purpose of 'scientific’ research this year.

Senator Campbell said that Iceland’s intention to kill 39 whales for science was particularly disappointing given recent world opinion against this practice.

He has conveyed his concerns in very clear terms to both the Minister for Fisheries and the Minister for the Environment in Iceland.

“It has already been proved that it is not necessary to slaughter whales to study them. Any claim to the contrary is just plain wrong,” Senator Campbell said.

Senator Campbell said that 'scientific’ whaling was not acceptable under any circumstances and called on Iceland to abandon its plans to take minke whales in the North Atlantic.

“At the recent IWC meeting in Korea, Iceland and other whaling nations were defeated in their bid to extend whaling.

“Now, Iceland is choosing to ignore the message that a majority of IWC members have shown their abhorrence of this practice.

“Australia is appalled at the blatant stand by Iceland to fly in the face of overwhelming international opinion that opposes 'scientific’ whaling as nothing less than thinly-veiled commercial whaling.

“We don’t accept Iceland’s stance on whaling in the same way we don’t accept the view of any other nation who pretends that killing whales is somehow good science.

“Australia is determined to seek an end to 'scientific’ whaling and has no intention of giving up its fight for a permanent global ban on commercial whaling,” Senator Campbell said.