Viva!, an animal welfare charity, last week launched a petition calling on consumers to boycott Nikon products.
To date, it has won support from nearly 3,000 people.
In response to the outcry, a Nikon spokesman today told AP: ‘Nikon makes lenses for a wide variety of customers – camera lenses for photographers, microscopes that aid in scientific breakthroughs, and sport optics such as rangefinders for golfers, binoculars and scopes for outdoor enthusiasts.'
In a statement, it adds: ‘Nikon Sport Optics manufactures the products for outdoor enthusiasts and respects legal hunting, conservation and wildlife management that meets local and national regulations. Nikon always values feedback from customers and the public.'