The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums is asking zoos and aquariums across the country to vote on the continued procurement of dolphins from the town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, whose dolphin hunts and annual culls have riled activists worldwide.

The unprecedented request by JAZA to its 152 members — 89 zoos and 63 aquariums — follows the announcement on April 22 by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums that it had decided in a unanimous vote to suspend JAZA's membership on the grounds that collection of cetaceans from the Taiji drives is unethical and is an affront to animal welfare.

WAZA has given JAZA a month — until May 21 — to stop the practice among member aquariums, or face expulsion.