Whale meat is being sold to departing passengers at Keflavík International Airport, who are told the meat is perfectly legal to take abroad, when in fact people could face criminal charges for bringing it to other countries.
The Animal Welfare Institute has brought the matter to light, pointing out that there is a global ban on selling whale meat packaged for export. Nonetheless, departing passengers at the airport are being sold minke whale meat, and told that it is completely legal to take it abroad.
This is false:
Representatives of the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) recently purchased minke whale meat steaks at the “Inspired by Iceland” store in the departure lounge of Iceland’s international airport in Keflavik, Iceland. The purchases took place on two separate occasions, one week apart, and in both cases staff at the airport store gave inaccurate information to purchasers.
The U.S. citizens were told erroneously by store staff that they could legally import the product into the United States. In fact, such citizens could face arrest and prosecution under several U.S. laws for illegal wildlife trade. Travelers returning with whale meat to the European Union or many other nations that comply with a ban on international trade in whale products would face similar penalties.
Chris Butler-Stroud, the CEO of WDCS, said, “It is impossible that Iceland is unaware that U.S. law prohibits imports of whale meat. Iceland is making a mockery of international law and it is time for President Obama to take the gloves off and to block the import of Icelandic products into the U.S. until Iceland ends its commercial whaling and trade for good.”