Stop dogs from being used as bait to catch sharks by cruel fishermen!

This inhumane and disgusting practice is carried out in Réunion Island, a territory controlled by France, situated in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Southern Africa, east of Madagascar.  

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The story went viral as soon as it was published by The Sun. According to the British newspaper, stray dogs are being skewered on hooks and dragged behind boats as live shark bait. The article also reports the dog in the photo – a six-month-old Labrador puppy, was discovered with huge hooks embedded in his snout and one through his leg. The helpless canine was found in a coastal creek and some believed it actually managed to free itself from a fishing line.

The story has caused a lot of turmoil and controversy – because many people still do not believe this practice actually occurs, claiming images like the ones above have been doctored with.

Alerted by this incident, the French embassy in Washington D.C. has claimed it have no knowledge of the practice, but claimed that if it indeed was true, it would be at a much smaller scale than the press initially reported.

In 2006, a newspaper from Réunion came forward and admitted the practice is true, but claimed the news was blown out of proportion.

For instance, while admitting the practice does take place, it doesn’t appear to be widespread and that it is only carried out by a group of amateur local fishermen rather than professional fishermen, as reported initially. The newspaper also reports that the dogs that are used in the baiting process are not actually alive, but rather strays that have passed away; furthermore, the lifeless dogs were actually attached to specially built “shark trap” platforms  and were not dragged behind boats.

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Years after this story became public, the truth has yet to be revealed.

Snopes.com, a popular website used for tracking down hoaxes, claims this story is a mixture of truth and false information.

We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the safety and wellbeing of all the dogs on the Reunion Island and hereby urge authorities to initiate a compelling and thorough investigation into this matter. If the practice does turn out to be true, we request that all the people responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Réunion Island is governed by French and EU laws – where such practices are completely forbidden.

The article in the British tabloid The Sun featuring this photo went viral.

 

The Sun reported that numerous dogs were found with hooks embedded into their nose and legs

 

A newspaper from Reunion admitted that the practice of using dogs for shark bait did actually exist

 

Help stop this inhumane practice! Sign the petition below!

 

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