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Oh Hell No: Dog Treats Are Being Made from Meat of an Endangered Whale

A Japanese company sells dog snacks made from North American fin whales hunted in Iceland.

 |  May 29th 2013  |   12 Contributions


As if we weren't worrying enough already about the scary byproducts and dead pets that go into dog food, a Japanese food company gives us another thing to fret over, and this one should make you outraged: Whale meat in dog treats. 

Michinoku Farm, a Tokyo-based company, is selling on its website "whale chews" made from endangered North American fin whales. They're described as a "low calorie, low fat, high protein" snack. The whales are hunted in Iceland, and the meat is sent to Japan. The company also sells treats made from Mongolian horses and kangaroos. 

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That's not the only ick factor: It's a status thing. 

"The most likely reason for shops to sell the whale meat dog treat is to target affluent Japanese who want to show off their wealth with something different," said Nanami Kurasawa, executive director of Japanese conservation group IKAN, according to the Express.

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Since 2006, conservation groups report, Iceland has killed 496 minke whales and 280 endangered fin whales, and it has exported more than 2,800 tons of whale products to Japan. This unnecessary foray into pet food is rankling animal rights groups. 

Susan Millward, executive director of the Animal Welfare Institute, told the Express: “Turning an endangered whale species into pet snacks is deplorable and seems to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to keep a cruel and unnecessary industry alive at any cost.”

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Photo by Aqqa Rosing-Asvid via Flickr.

IKAN's Kurasawa is appealing to the integrity of his countrymen to not purchase the treats. 

“What the Japanese public must ask ourselves is, ‘Just because it’s cheap, do our morals allow turning endangered species, which don't belong to Japan, into dog treats and selling them online?’"

"I, for one, think this is a disgrace,” he said. 

Commercial whaling is, of course, banned internationally. How are Iceland and Japan able to skirt the rules? That hasn't been a problem: They simply ignore the ban.

Via the Express

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