This morning, I received a link to a petition demanding an end to the practice of using dogs and cats as shark bait. Geez, that we even need to object to such heinous behavior is an atrocity. This behavior should not even exist.
The petition was first signed on April 22, 2009. The goal is 100,000 signatures. Currently there are ~ 3400.
One of the links from National Geographic was originally printed in 2005, so I am not sure if this is still a problem on France’s Reunion Island or perhaps this particular situation has been addressed. Here is the report from snopes.com, also from 2005:
Based on a Réunion newspaper article which acknowledged the practice and reported the recent prosecution of a deliveryman (and amateur fisherman) on that island over animal cruelty charges associated with the described activity, we’d have to say there is some truth to the shark-fishing claim, although the practice does not appear to be as widespread or horrific (or tolerated) as implied by some news stories. Rather than describing hordes of shark fisherman impaling live dogs on hooks and dragging them behind boats as shark bait, the article notes that employing dogs in shark-fishing is largely the province of a small group of amateur fisherman rather than large numbers of professionals, that the dogs used are generally dead animals picked up from roadsides or culled from the island’s large population of unwanted strays (estimated at 150,000), and that the no-longer-alive animals are attached to unattended buoyed “shark trap” platforms rather than dragged alive behind boats.
But there is more to the petition. Included in the same Care2 petiton is a link to a YouTube video of “Kittens Being Used as Live Shark Bait” with the subtitle “wealthy americans using live kittens to fish for sharks.” I do not have it on me to watch the video. I don’t want the images seared into my brain for all time. I am speechless, hurt, angry, disgusted, pissed off and more. The video was uploaded in 2009, so you can be assured that somewhere in this world, there is still a callous and selfish lot continuing this cruelty.
I signed the petition. Your support on this petition is important. Please sign it and send it to your friends for them to sign.
By the way, is it too much to wish the same treatment on the people in the video as they did to the animals?