Japanese pet food company Michinoku Farms announced in a press release on Wednesday that it was pulling its new dog treats product that was revealed to contain meat from fin whales exported by Iceland. The four environmental organizations that brought attention to the issue this week, including Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), and the Iruka & Kujira [Dolphin & Whale] Action Network (IKAN), praised Michinoku Farms’ decision not to sell the product.
The NGO’s condemned the Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf for hunting endangered fin whales and then exporting the meat to Japan to be used in dog snacks. Michinoku Farms president Takuma Konno stated that the selling of the imported product was completely legal within Japan, but the company had come to the decision to withdraw the pet treats, branded as “jerky,” only hours after they hit the shelves. “Maybe I was ignorant of the debate (about whaling), but it’s not worth selling the product if it risks disturbing some people,” Konno said.
While the environmental agencies previous stated it “grotesque” for whale meat to be used in Japan’s growing dog food market, the four organizations jointly responded to Konno’s announcement that they were pleased with how promptly a progressive and compassionate choice was made. Iceland is expected to continue with their commercial whaling, with plans said to include the catch of at least 180 fin whales by June, despite a global moratorium on the practice. Iceland has sold its whale meat to Japan since 2008, although this was said to be the first instance of it being used for pet food, as opposed to human consumption.
[via News Tribe]
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