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Tag: thirty million friends foundation

Dogs used as shark bait on island off Africa

Dogs — live and dead — are being used as shark bait on the French-controlled island of Reunion,  National Geographic reports.

The small volcanic island off Africa’s east coast is loaded with stray dogs — more than 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 Reunion this summer to obtain proof that live animals were being used as shark bait. (The photo above is a video still from that filming.) The practice was first exposed on the animal rights group’s weekly television show.

A videotape and photographs show the dogs with multiple hooks sunk deep into their paws and snouts. Cats are also being used as bait, according to the organization.

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

A veterinarian successfully treated one of the canines, a six-month-old dog with a large fishhook through its snout at an SPA (Animal Protective Society) clinic in Reunion’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.

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

(Photo courtesy of Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis)