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Dogs Used As Live Bait To Catch Sharks - For Real??

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Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

Over the years I have become a member of many notable and perhaps even radical Facebook groups, including, “I dont get drunk... I get AWESOME” , “If 1m people join, girlfriend will let me turn our house into a pirate ship” , “I Love Watties Tomato Sauce“ , “New Plymouth Rockers” , “International Minced Beef and Wank Day” , and of course the powerfully influential, “Stop forcing me to "Invite 20 Friends"!!” 

Recently a man who I shall refer to only as “The Latino Master” invited me to join, “Contra la utilizacion de perros y gatos vivos como carnada para tiburones” or in English: “Against the use of live dogs and cat as bait for sharks.” There is a photo of a dog with a hook through his nose and the description of the group says something along the lines of, off the coast of Madagascar “fishermen” immobilize the legs of cats and dogs with wire, stick them through with hooks, and then throw them into the water on the end of lines, which are attached to a floating log. The animals are left in the water overnight waiting for the sharks, which are attracted by their blood. 

Now when I think of Madagascar I think of two things:

  1. The hilarious movie with talking penguins.

  2. The time the Latino Master and I picked up a hitchhiker (not my idea, as I believed him to be a serial killer) who turned out to be a perfectly nice snake collector, and who told me that the only other Kiwi he’d ever known was exporting exotic animals out of Madagascar. Which just seemed so entirely dodgy and wickedly illegal. 

The combination of the talking penguins and the snake collector’s interesting friend convinced me that anything is possible off the coast of Madagascar - even using live cats and dogs for bait, as sick as I think that is. I googled it and found an article about it on National Geographic, so I guess it does go on.

Being the open minded spirit that I am, I realize that different cultures base standards of acceptability on factors that I have absolutely no understanding of. So I turned to WikiBooks, the source of all knowledge, and learned that dogs are thought to be the oldest domesticated species, being domesticated around 20,000 years ago. After my careful consideration that dogs have been "mans best friend" since the late Paleolithic age, I decided conclusively that despite allowing for cultural differences, people who use live cats and dogs for bait are “sick bastards.” 

I do not believe that joining a Facebook group will achieve anything. For instance, the group, “If 1m people join, girlfriend will let me turn our house into a pirate ship” already has way over 1 million members. Yet despite this, there is no evidence that the man has turned his house into a pirate ship - disappointing. (To be fair, he is currently collecting monetary donations so he can start construction. You can donate at the official website... and buy merchandise - kaching!) Likewise, all this kafuffle about joining Facebook groups to raise awareness is pointless unless you are actually willing to DO something about what you have been made aware of. 

Join the Facebook group if you like, to show your friends how socially minded and outraged you are towards animal cruelty, or any other cause. (I hear a pickle is trying to get more fans than Nickleback.) However, I sincerely believe activism has strong roots in getting off your arse and doing something.

Personally I will not be going to Madagascar anytime soon to rescue at-risk street animals, and it’s not for lack of compassion. But if anyone’s in my little neighbourhood of Costa Rica and wants to give a street animal a good home (or go sports fishing) I can certainly hook you up (no bad taste pun intended). 

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