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The body of a minke whale and its calf are dragged onto the whaling ship

The Australian Federal Government says photographs taken by the Customs ship the Oceanic Viking of Japanese whalers killing a whale and its calf will strengthen any legal case against the whalers.

The pictures, released by the Government today, show a slaughtered minke whale and its calf being hauled up the ramp of the Japanese ship, the Yushin Maru.

Customs has also released video of whales being harpooned from the ship.

The Government is extending the duration of its whaling surveillance program and says the Attorney-General is still considering what kind of legal action should be taken and who it should be brought against.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says the pictures released today support Australia’s position.

‘I think it’s explicitly clear from these images that this is indiscriminate killing of whales, where you have a whale and its calf killed in this way,’ he said.

‘To claim that this is in anyway scientific is to continue the charade that surrounded this issue from day one.’