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