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Sign Petition to Stop Dogs Being Used as Shark Bait on French-controlled Reunion Island

Just when you think you've read or heard every violent or evil act humans can perpetrate onto animals and then there's one more story... Sometimes...

Joy  |  Jun 26th 2007


Just when you think you’ve read or heard every violent or evil act humans can perpetrate onto animals and then there’s one more story… Sometimes I read these stories and not only do I have no empathy or understanding with people who can do this, I don’t even feel like we’re the same species.

And don’t talk to me about cross-cultural understanding! Just because you hunt or fish to feed your family does NOT mean you can abuse the very animals who have meant so much to us as we have evolved over time! There are many hunting and fishing cultures who show no such callowness to dogs and cats.

Thanks to Dee and Ajax for barking in this petition and the National Geographic article.

According to this 2005 National Geographic article, some shark hunters on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean are using live dogs as bait for sharks. If anyone has any updates on this story I would appreciate hearing them. In the meantime, please sign the petition and cross-post this notice.

I read a lot of sad and sick stories involving dogs, cats and other animals but this one made my stomach turn. Please be advised that this article is extremely upsetting. There is a picture with this article but it is too painful for me to post here.

Here is what it says at The Petition Site:

STRAY dogs are being skewered on hooks and dragged behind boats as live shark bait The cruel practice takes place on French-controlled Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. A six-month-old labrador pup was recently found ALIVE with a huge double hook through its snout and another through a leg. The pup was found in a coastal creek and is thought to have somehow freed itself from a fishing line. But other dogs and kittens have been chomped up and swallowed by sharks.

Here is the article from National Geographic.

Dogs Used as Shark Bait on French Island
By Maryann Mott
for National Geographic News

October 19, 2005
Live and dead dogs and cats are being used as shark bait by amateur fishers on the French-controlled island of Runion, according to animal-welfare organizations and local authorities.

The small volcanic island off Africa’s east coast is bursting with stray dogsupward of 150,000, says Reha Hutin, president of the Paris-based Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis (the Thirty Million Friends Foundation).

Hutin sent a film crew to Runion this summer to obtain proof that live animals were being used as shark bait. The goal was to expose the practice on the animal rights group’s weekly television show.

It didn’t take long for the film crew to find three separate cases, she said.

A videotape and photographs show the dogs with multiple hooks sunk deep into their paws and snouts.

“From then on everyone started to take the whole story seriously and realized it was true,” Hutin said.

Photographic Evidence

A veterinarian successfully treated one of the canines, a six-month-old dog with a large fishhook through its snout, at an SPA (Socit Protectrice des Animaux, or Animal Protective Society) clinic in Runion’s capital, St.-Denis.

Unlike most of the hooked animals, the dog was someone’s pet, according to Saliha Hadj-Djilani, a reporter for the Thirty Million Friends Foundation’s TV program. The dog had apparently escaped its captors and was taken to the SPA by a concerned citizen. Fully recovered, the animal is now home with its owners.

The other two cases uncovered by Thirty Million Friends were strays. They now live in France with new owners.

The foundation plans to finance a sterilization program on the island to reduce the stray overpopulation. But the job won’t be easy.

Hutin said many locals view the strays as vermin. “There’s no value to the life of a dog there,” she said.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.