WARNING: UPSETTING CONTENT: Reports are unclear as to whether the animal was cut up as an ‘end of year bonus’ for employees or was simply to be used as dog food
Viral footage has emerged of an endangered whale being butchered outside a company’s canteen.
But reports are unclear as to whether the animal was cut up as an ‘end of year bonus’ for employees or to be used as dog food.
A video taken in China on Thursday shows what is believed to be a Bryde’s whale being transported onto the premises of a company in Xinyu City, in Jiangxi Province on China’s eastern coast.
The animal, which is a second-class state-protected species in China, is understood to have been purchased by a company boss direct from fishermen.
The eight-tonne beast was then butchered outside the staff canteen.
A clip taken at the scene and captioned in Chinese read: “A company shipped an eight-tonne whale.
“Jan. 5th, Xinyu, Jiangxi Province. People cut it into pieces in the canteen.”
A witness can then be heard exclaiming: “I heard it’s a whale. After I had lunch, I found they were cutting the whale into pieces.
“But I’m not sure whether their purpose is to divide the meat to its staff. It’s so smelly. If I were a staff here and the boss wanted to give me the meat, I would consider it.”
It is still not known why the animal was delivered to the company and cut up on site.
Some reports in China claimed pieces of the mammal’s meat were handed to employees as an ‘end of year bonus’ while the company itself reportedly claimed the meat was to be fed to dogs.
But some people in China were skeptical of the company’s excuses.
One said: “It’s a bad excuse. How many dogs does this company have?”
Another said: “How lucky the dogs are!”
And another added: “Are you sure it’s for the dogs and not for the staff?”
Whale meat is not generally considered a delicacy in China, unlike Japan.
As the capture and trade of whales is strictly regulated in China, authorities have unsurprisingly become involved in the bizarre case.
Officials at the Xinyu City Bureau of Fisheries – under China’s Ministry of Agriculture – said the hunting, trading, and transporting of whales is legal in the country, but dealers must hold the correct licences and permits.
An investigation is underway.