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March 8, 2012

Amazon.com Confirms New Policy to Ban Sale of Whale and Dolphin Products

Humane Society International

  • Whaling is inhumane. Marshall Bruce/istock

Internet giant Amazon.com has now officially banned the sale of all whale and dolphin products from its wholly owned Japanese website, following global outrage that these products were offered for sale. Amazon confirmed the prohibition on its main website by adding language under the Food and Beverage section that prohibits "Products containing shark, whale, or dolphin" and Amazon’s Japanese website contains a similar ban on selling whale and dolphin products.

The Environmental Investigation Agency and Humane Society International revealed last month that Amazon Japan not only sold products from endangered and protected whale species, but also products containing dangerous levels of mercury.

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In response, Amazon withdrew all whale products from Amazon Japan within 24 hours, but declined to make any formal policy commitment regarding a permanent ban.

However, as of March 7, both the Amazon.com website and its Japanese version contain an explicit prohibition on the sale of products from whales and dolphins.

“Amazon.com has taken the right decision to enact a company-wide ban on the sale of all products derived from whales and dolphins,” said Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency. ”Internet sales are a major threat to endangered and threatened wildlife and we strongly urge all other internet companies selling such products to follow Amazon’s lead.”

“Amazon heard the public loud and clear,” said Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International. “Amazon should be congratulated for being responsive to its consumers’ pleas that whales and dolphins should be protected and not sold for profit.”

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Interviews, images and the full report are available on request from: Katie Jarl, HSI media contact, kjarl@humanesociety.org or 301-258-1483

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK-based Non Governmental Organisation and charitable trust (registered charity number 1040615) that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Visit HSI’s website at hsi.org.

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