Whale Shark Butchered Alive by Chinese Poachers Deserves Justice

637px-Whale_shark_Australia via Mbz1

Target: Chen Jining, Minister of Environmental Protection, People’s Republic of China

Goal: Prosecute those involved in the torturous live butchering of a whale shark.

A shocking video has surfaced depicting the live butchering of a whale shark. The video shows two men sawing the animal apart from the tail upward, opting to torture it alive rather than severing its spinal cord and killing it first. The animal is seen struggling to breathe as it slowly bleeds to death, opening and closing its mouth as if to scream.

The whale shark, the largest known species of fish, is classified as vulnerable and is protected by several treaties, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Convention for Migratory Species. This makes it illegal to capture, kill, or sell a whale shark or its body parts. Those who breach the law can face criminal charges, jail time, and extensive fines.

Unfortunately, due to China’s lax enforcement of animal protection laws and its burgeoning black markets full of endangered and nearly extinct animals, this type of situation is not unusual. According to a study conducted by non-governmental organization WildLifeRisk, Chinese fishermen illegally slaughter 600 whale sharks each year, selling them for about $30,000 each.

Perhaps more disturbing than the cruel butchering of a live animal is the fact that those responsible felt secure enough in China’s lack of animal protection enforcement to do it in a public fish market. Not only must the perpetrators of this torturous and illegal slaughter be prosecuted, but China must put forth a true effort to stop the unsustainable slaughter of whale sharks. Sign the petition below to demand that China find and punish those involved in order to deter similar atrocities in the future.


Dear Minister Chen Jining,

A video of two men butchering a live whale shark at a Chinese fish market has outraged the international community. The video shows the men using a large saw to cut the animal into slices from the tail upward, all while the shark is gasping for breath and bleeding out.

Though whale sharks are a protected species, these situations are not uncommon. Chinese fishermen kill an average of 600 whale sharks per year, most of them facing no legal action. It is imperative that China steps up to stop letting animal abuse and the illegal slaughter of animals go unpunished. We, the undersigned, demand that those responsible for this brutal butchering are found and punished to the full extent of the law.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mbz 1

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  1. “So many people insist they are against animal abuse, cruelty, suffering and the inhumane treatment of animals, yet they don’t understand they are actively engaging in and supporting egregious suffering, abuse, cruelty and inhumane treatment when they eat animals and their ‘by-products.’ If you are against cruelty, suffering and inhumane treatment, then you go vegan. It’s just that simple.” – Sarah Kiser

  2. Victor Castillo says:

    Putrid,vile and disgusting human race!

  3. My god! What the hell is wrong with a lot of those Chinese people?! First the Yulin festival and now this! Why do they have to be so barbaric?! It’s unbelievable how those people don’t even feel a thing while torturing animals! My goodness! I’m not sorry when I say that we cannot let China become the world leader…

    • Kathy Williams says:

      Love your comment.


      I couldn’t agree more with your comments Zarina! The Chinese seem to have not one compassionionate bone in their body if they can do this to a wonderous Whale Shark, but to go on with the Yulin Festival just proves what lack of morals they have and how uncivilized they truly are! Absolutely BARBARBIC how they treat animals in that horrid country! Glad I have NO plans to visit them ever in my lifetime. Should be a boycott of some sort of their country. Probably be impossible since everything we purchase here in the US is made overseas. These individuals involved with this atrocious live killing should face strict, maximum penalties. But this is China, remember, and animals there have no rights, let alone a soul or voice. Makes me so damn mad!!

      • Ok… first of all… I do not disagree that this is an unspeakable act…. however, it is very short sighted to speak about an entire race of people in this matter. The very same people you speak so low about are the ones who filmed this atrocity happening and handed it over to the police. This is a country that is over populated and poor. If you have been privlaged enough to not have experienced starvation or poverty than I do not believe you can truly speak on to why someone may do something so terrible. I believe Americans have killed for less. I mean they quite literally have taken out humans for the sake of prosperity and land. So I suggest instead of attacking an entire country try just pointing fingers at the ones guilty of the crime….

    • China should be wiped off the planet.

  4. Mark Donner says:

    These monsters badly need an atomic bomb on their heads. China is not human, they pretend they are human they are some kind of anti life hellspawn.

  5. Kathy Khoshfahm says:

    Nuke the f*****g Chinese race from Planet Earth…

  6. Kathy Williams says:

    I signed, but this petition needs to go to the attention of CITES – not to any official in China. They haven’t done anything to protect animals in the past, and they certainly aren’t going to start now.

    With all my heart, I wish that exploitation and cruelty could be narrowed down to isolated cases such as this unconscionable display. Or limited to a certain sector of society. Heck, I would even be less despondent if acts of callousness were confined to certain countries. But they never are.

    On June 5th, I was unfortunately watching the evening news, when cellphone footage showed a five-foot-long shark writhing on a scorching, concrete walkway near the entrance of a popular supermarket in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

    The first two shocks: 1. How could anyone possibly think that this was appropriate treatment of a breathing, feeling entity that needed to be in water to survive? and 2. Having lived and worked in Ft. Lauderdale for 25 years, I frequently patronized that exact store!

    But in much broader terms, the biggest outrage was the mainly uncaring attitude of those who witnessed the struggling shark on the sidewalk.

    Some smiled in amusement; some made comments like, “It doesn’t surprise me.” Another shopper said: “On top of it, it’s not on ice. It’s just sitting there on the concrete. Who’s going to buy something like that? It’s like worthless. It’s like saying, ‘This animal is worthless, you can buy it if you want.”‘

    The fisherman who caught the shark wanted a $100. He stated that he “felt like a leprechaun, like [he] struck gold.”

    He claimed that people enjoyed seeing the shark out of water, that “it was nice to see people’s faces light up,” and that they were “excited to get to touch it and really experience what it is.” (Sounds like the same insensitive excuse that imprisons dolphins!)

    After 15 to 20 minutes – during which, the man would throw some water on top of the choking shark (apparently ignorant of the fact that they extract oxygen from the seawater that passes through their gills) – he was asked by the store to leave because: “We do not allow for unauthorized solicitation or sale of products outside our store fronts.” Not because: “Torturing animals is simply wrong.”

    When someone (presumably from the store) finally called the police, the man had already gone. He later reported that he returned his ‘prize’ to the Intracoastal, but who knows?

    In the meantime, because the would be vendor didn’t possess a commercial fishing license, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it’s “more than likely” that they will investigate, but it “all depends on what kind of species it was.”

    Excuse me? A-hole says what?

    Granted: this guy wasn’t butchering the shark in front of an audience. However, the exact same element that is noticeably absent in both scenarios is compassion.

    Had this potential sale been sanctioned, THAT’S what would have made all of this acceptable?

    Under ANY circumstances, why was this disturbing event generally viewed as being okay?

    With such widespread apathy and desensitization, I just wonder what the future holds for any of us.

  7. Anne Jones says:

    Living on this planet is unbearable. I resent being born. I can’t stand what happened to those sharks.

    Why is the human race so evil? It’s like living on a planet of monsters.

  8. Ravinder Sngh says:

    These cruel people should be wiped from this planet. We do not need monsters on this beautiful earth. They just do not fit here.

  9. WE MUST TAKE THESE CRUEL & UNCONSCIONABLE CRIMES AGAINST ANIMALS SERIOUSLY! — clearly, these men have mental issues — make them responsible & accountable for their horrific crime against this magnificent animal — this shark’s life is precious and valuable — SOCIETY SHOULD PUNISH these two criminals — society MUST teach the world that we do NOT WANT repeats of such crimes against animals — punishments & sentences MUST be severe and serious. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?

  10. BOYCOTT CHINA. I never buy anything MADE IN CHINA!! They feel the need to torture and wipe out every living creature, maybe when that happens they can turn on each other. Again, DON’T BUY MADE IN CHINA.

  11. Thank you for starting this petition. I found it via Google search, as I considered starting one myself. My 12-year-old and I stumbled on this video accidentally, and both of us wept. We have been unable to shake it off. The problem really ISN’T the Chinese people — remember that we have brutal traditions and practices in the U.S. that are even legal! In Denmark, they have a traditional event involving the slaughter of dolphins. Each form of cruelty has its unique cause, but underlying all of it is our inability as a species to be responsible stewards of our excessive power over other creatures.

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