Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Norway Feeds Minke Meat to Mink

So few people in Norway eat whale meat that it ends up in animal feed on fur farms!
As well as being one of only three countries continuing to whale, Norway has a thriving fur industry. Last year, it exported 258 tons of fox skins and 1,000 tons of mink skins to the EU.
According to a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a UK-based nonprofit, and the US-based Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), more than 113 metric tons of minke whale products — that's about 75 whales — were bought or used by
Rogaland PelsdyrfĂ´rlaget, the largest manufacturer of animal feed for Norway's fur industry.
It details that, in 2014, the company bought or used 113,700 kgs (or 125 tons) of whale product, which could include meat and blubber.
There is little demand for whale meat in Norway, and consumption fell to about .25kg of meat per person per year (2000, Whale and Dolphin Conservation). Norway has increased its whale meat exports to Japan in recent years in defiance of an international ban. However, the EIA and AWI revealed last year that Japan rejected imports of Norwegian whale meat, when tests revealed high levels of pesticides.
Jennifer Lonsdale, EIA director: "The Norwegian government claims it's important to have whale meat as a source of food for people, but because of falling demand, the product is now being exported. Now we discover it's going to feed animals in the fur industry, which we find completely unacceptable."
Norway's self-issued quota for 2016 was for about 880 whales, down from 1,286 in 2015. But the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has criticised it for not being conservation-minded enough. In 2001, the IWC called on Norway to stop hunting and trading whales, but Norway insists it's a tradition that needs to be protected.
Minke whales in the North Atlantic, where Norway hunts, are not considered to be at-risk, but conservationists and animal welfare activists say the hunts are cruel and unnecessary, given the low demand for whale meat.

- Source: National Geographic's Special Investigations Unit,
which focuses on wildlife crime.

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