Whiskas offers Critically Endangered species-flavored cat food

Jeremy Hance
April 13, 2010

In a truly bizarre product offering, WHISKAS® presented a new line of bluefin tuna-flavored cat food before quickly eliminating the product "due to public concerns", according to Greenpeace UK.

Bluefin tuna is listed by the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered due to overfishing. Despite population collapse and fears of extinction, the bluefin tuna has failed to receive a fishing-ban from their managing organization, International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The bluefin tuna trade is a highly lucrative trade: estimated at 7.2 billion dollars annually.

While the WHISKAS® cat food, owned by Mars Inc, would not have contained any bluefin tuna (the first ingredients were actually meat by-products and poultry by-products), the product was meant to taste like bluefin tuna. According to the product's slogan: "cats love classic ocean taste. That's why we've crafted this blue fin tuna recipe just for them."

It should be noted no species of cat, wild or domestic, hunt ocean life. As quickly as it appeared, the line has been discontinued "due to public concerns".

Greenpeace UK ponders on their blog: "What’s next for Tiddles' din-dins? 'Roast Tiger flavour'? 'Grilled Gorilla'? Or maybe 'Limited Edition Dodo'?"

Earlier this month, Mars Inc. made news by stating it would use only sustainably-sourced seafood in its pet products, including Whiskas, by 2020. It is the first pet food company to make such a pledge.

The Atlantic bluefin tuna population has plummeted by 80 percent since 1970.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (April 13, 2010).

Whiskas offers Critically Endangered species-flavored cat food.