Commend Company for Withdrawing Pet Treats Containing Endangered Whale Meat

Fin whale.

Target: Takuma Konno, President of Michinoku Farms

Goal: Commend Michinoku Farms for removing pet treats containing endangered whale meat.

It seems that all too often, consumers are alerted to food products that contain one or more controversial ingredients. The recent incident involving Michinoku Farms is no exception; the Tokyo-based company acknowledges that meat from North Atlantic fin whales was being sold in luxury dog treats. The North Atlantic fin whale is classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.

Icelandic hunters, such as the whaling company Hvalur hf, have sold the endangered whale meat to Japan since 2008. Although the International Whaling Commission established a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, Iceland anticipates catching 180 fin whales by June. Michinoku Farms offered a “jerky” type dog treat on its website, with the meat described as a “low calorie, low fat, high protein” snack. Fortunately, according to the Japan Daily Press, the company recently announced in a press release that it will be pulling its controversial dog treat. While the sale of products containing imported whale meat is legal in Japan, the company’s president, Takuma Konno, states that “it’s not worth selling the product if it risks disturbing some people.”

In Japan, whale meat is still somewhat popular. Furthermore, the Japanese generally view whaling as “a long-standing tradition” and the campaign against it “as a symbol of cultural imperialism from the West.” By signing this petition, you are helping to commend Michinoku Farms for acknowledging the controversial aspects of its product and removing it from its shelves. Although the meat is still bought for human consumption, this act is a positive step towards discouraging the slaughter and trade of the endangered fin whale.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Mr. Konno,

Frequently, consumers are alerted to food products that contain controversial ingredients. The recent incident involving your company is no exception; you have acknowledged that meat from North Atlantic fin whales was being sold in your luxury dog treats. As you may know, the North Atlantic fin whale is classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. This being said, Icelandic hunters have sold the endangered whale meat to Japan since 2008 and will continue to do so.

Fortunately, you have made the decision to remove this product from your shelves. I am commending you for acknowledging the controversial aspects of your product and removing it from your shelves. Although the meat is still bought for human consumption, this act is a positive step towards discouraging the slaughter and trade of the endangered fin whale.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: © Copyright David Baird and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence

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One Comment

  1. A start in the right direction !

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