Police raid Nightjar over whale skin cocktail

10th December, 2012 by Andy Young

Police have raided the Nightjar cocktail bar in east London after it sold a drink containing whale skin.

NightjarThe raid by the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Unit, took place last week following an allegation made in October. Police seized a bottle of Scotch whisky for testing.

The bar, which recently launched a vintage spirits list, said it used the ingredient to make a drink called the “Moby Dick cocktail”.

In a statement the bar said one of its employees had bought “a single dried piece of whale skin (around 2 x 5 cm)” in a Japanese supermarket last year.

The piece of whale skin stayed in a single bottle which “was topped up with whisky over the course of the year, and used to flavour the drink.”

The bar said that it was unaware that the ingredient was illegal under EU legislation, adding: “We unwisely assumed that since it was obtained lawfully in its country of origin, we were not contravening any laws.”

The bar has also apologised to anyone who was offended by their cocktail and has said it will be taking steps to ensure all its future ingredients are responsibly sourced.

The statement added: “We genuinely feel ashamed about our lack of due diligence around this and our insensitivity to public opinion, and have taken the decision to donate all proceeds from the sale of this cocktail to a whale conservation charity.”

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