London bar raided after selling a cocktail 'flavoured with whale skin'
Nightjar in Hoxton, east London, sold drink called Moby Dick, allegedly with 'infused whale skin'Police raided venue after tip-off from animal conservationistsWhale banned from sale in most of Europe

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UPDATED:

10:28 GMT, 9 December 2012

A London cocktail bar has outraged
animal conservationists after it was discovered selling a cocktail
allegedly flavoured with whale skin.

Whale
is banned from sale in Europe as part of EU protection policies, but it
would appear the Nightjar bar in Hoxton, east London, has been flouting
those rules.

A
cocktail called the Moby Dick is described on the bar's menu as
containing Laphroaig whiskey, Drambuie, ale and bitters – and a 'whale
skin infusion'.

Illegal cocktail The website of the Nightjar bar, showing the Moby Dick cocktail, which is described as containing a 'whaleskin infusion'

Nightjar (brown door, centre)

Nightjar's Moby Dick cocktail (left) is described as containing a whale-skin infusion by the bar (right, brown door) in Hoxton, east London

Police acted on a tip-off to raid the premises and took away a sample which is to undergo analysis.

A
Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed: 'We received an allegation in
October 2012 that whale skin was being sold at a premises in City Road,
Hackney.

'Officers executed a warrant at premises in City Road, Hackney, on Monday, 3 December.

'The
warrant was executed by officers from the Met's Wildlife Crime Unit
assisted by an officer from the United Kingdom Border Force.

'One item from the premises was seized. This has been sent for analysis.'

The
accusation comes after investigators from the Whale and Dolphin
Conservation found whale meat on sale at a shop in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sales
in the country are allowed only to Greenland Inuits who must show ID to
be served, but the DayCatch Greenland shop sold a whale steak to an
Irish journalist.

The furore
comes as Greenland, the only European country allowed to sell the meat
for 'subsistence' purposes, seeks to increase its annual killing quota.

Whale is banned from sale in Europe apart from to Inuit Greenlanders

Whale is banned from sale in Europe apart from to Inuit Greenlanders

It
failed in its bid at the last meeting of the International Whaling
Commission after it was discovered supermarkets were selling the meat to
tourists, but says it will kill extra whales anyway, raising fears of a
return to commercial whaling.

AN END TO WHALING BAN

Whales used to be hunted in their thousands for oil and meat but commercial whaling was banned in 1986.

Inuit people in Greenland are still allowed to catch a number of the animals annually for subsistence, while other countries to consume the product are Canada, the Faroe Islands and Japan, which wants to end the ban.

The
Whale and Dolphin Conservation told the Sunday Times: 'We have long
been concerned about the validity of Greenland's subsistence hunting of
minke and fin whales as well as its annual kill of thousands of dolphins
and porpoises.

'It already
sells whale meat in Greenland supermarkets and now this has extended to
mainland Europe, with whale meat on sale to tourists in Copenhagen.'

The owner of DayCatch apologised for selling the product and reported himself to the Danish Government.

He said he sold the meat due to 'misunderstood good-hjeartedness' and added the shop had now stop the imports.

Nightjar
told the paper it had been unaware its cocktail contained any illegal
ingredient and says it has taken the drink off the menu.