A militant conservation group claimed Wednesday that up to 50 pilot whales have been killed in the first traditional whale hunt of the year in the Faroe Islands, but authorities there defended the practice and slammed the activists. A pod of 100-150 pilot whales was spotted off the northeastern island of Svinoy, where several boats had chased them 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) towards the village of Hvannasund, claimed the Sea Shepherd group. "The whales were forced to beach, and slaughtered by locals," the group said in a statement, citing local media reports as saying between 30-50 pilot whales had been killed.
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