ROCKLAND, Maine — A nationwide company that provides concessions for major league sports arenas, hotels, parks and airports has stopped buying lobsters from Linda Bean’s Maine company.
Representatives of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claim that the decision was the result of a video the organization distributed concerning “horrific abuse caught on tape at the company’s slaughterhouse.”
Delaware North Companies Vice President for Corporate Communications Wendy Watkins said Wednesday in an email response that the company is not using lobsters from the Bean company in its operations. Watkins would not comment on whether the decision to stop using the Bean products was because of the PETA video.
PETA released the video in September. Delaware North would not say when the decision was made to not use the Bean products.
“Delaware North has a longstanding commitment to sustainable and responsible practices in food purchasing, and we do our best to maintain very high standards with our vendors,” Watkins said.
She would not say how much the company had been buying from Bean or answer any questions about the business relationship.
David Byer, the senior corporate liaison for PETA, said Wednesday that PETA contacted Delaware North directly on June 20 after it saw an advertisement for Linda Bean Maine Lobster promoting the sale of its lobster on a stick at the Minnesota Twins baseball park and at the TD Garden in Boston.
Delaware North responded to PETA on July 1 saying it had stopped using Bean’s lobsters, Byer said.
The PETA official said that the organization had reached out to Bean’s company to educate them about more humane ways to kill lobsters before it released the video.
“They refused to engage us in conversation,” Byer said, and the decision was made to try to convince companies not to buy her products.
“I hope more companies do what Delaware North has done,” he said.
PETA had asked last year for animal cruelty charges to be filed against the Bean processing plant in Rockland, but District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said he would not prosecute because the animal cruelty law did not cover invertebrate species — animals without backbones.
In a separate matter in December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found what it said were serious violations of federal seafood safety at the Bean processing plant on Merrill Drive in the Rockland industrial park. A warning letter was sent out in February.
The manager of the plant said Monday, however, that the violations simply involved the plant not being able to show the federal agency scientific evidence to support the company’s position that its processing method results in the food being safe. An FDA spokesperson said late Wednesday that the agency would look into the status of the case and get back to the BDN, likely Thursday.
When asked for comment Wednesday afternoon about the loss of the Delaware North contract and PETA’s possible involvement, Linda Bean said she would send a reply by email, but none was received by 7 p.m.