Environmentalists and animal welfare groups have welcomed the decision of Michinoku Farms to withdraw pet foods made from the meat of endangered whales.
The Animal Welfare Institute, Environmental Investigation Agency, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and the Iruka & Kujira [Dolphin & Whale] Action Network protested the Icelandic whale fin “jerky” being sold as a pet snack through the Japanese firm. The activists questioned the wisdom of exporting meat from an endangered species to feed pets.
Speaking on behalf of the four NGO’s, Susan Milward, Executive Director of the US-based Animal Welfare Institute stated:
“We are extremely pleased to see Michinoku Farms respond in such a progressive, compassionate and prompt manner and we would strongly urge all other businesses to follow suit and end such sales.
“We reiterate our dismay that Icelandic company Hvalur hf and its director Kristján Loftsson continue to flout two international conventions in order to slaughter endangered fin whales, and further stress the need for internet retailers such as Rakuten – now owner of Play.com – to take more responsibility for the products they market.”
Hvalur hf, an Icelandic whaling company, is planning to hunt up to 184 fin whales from June 2013 for export to Japan.