Monday, February 27, 2012

On-Line Whale Sales Stopped

A victory for environmentalists, after a big online retailer was forced to remove whale meat products from its site in Japan.
Environmental Investigation Agency UK (EIA) found 147 whale products for sale on Amazon Japan...even though it's policy is to not advertise unlicensed or illegal wildlife products. Some of the items came from endangered whale species, others from Japan's annual "loop-hole" Antarctic hunts. Products included whale bacon, whale jerky and canned whale meat.
After Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, received tens of thousands of messages of protest via email, Twitter and other social media, accusing the company of hypocrisy, the links were taken down.
Mark Jones, exec.director of Humane Society Intl.UK, said: "In just 24 hours, more than 35,000 supporters appealed to Amazon for a total ban on the sale of whale, dolphin and porpoise products. The public wants these animals protected rather than killed and sold for profit."
EIA: "We welcome Amazon's action to remove whale products from its Japanese website but urge Amazon to confirm it will enact a company-wide ban on the sale of all products derived from whales, dolphins or porpoises."
EIA investigators bought the products online in Dec.2011, saying some contained excessive levels of mercury, while labels on up to a third of them did not list the species: "The most popular product at the time was coastally caught Baird's beaked whale jerky, sold by Hakudai company. The second most popular item, also a Hakudai product, was Icelandic fin whale bacon." (Until recently, Hakudai also sold whale meat as dog food.) Though designated 'endangered', Iceland still kills fin, and exports 1500 tonnes annually to Japan.
But Amazon Japan is not the only guilty e-trader: Yahoo Japan (the biggest internet retailer in that country) was also highlighted for the same practices in 2010 and 2011.
E-traders must be accountable, with governments threatening global shut-down should this sickening selling continue.

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