In early March, a couple of videos popped up on the Fishing Western Australia Facebook group. They showed something horrible: a live shark being dragged behind a vehicle and another live shark being punched.
The videos quickly took the internet by storm, but as of the time of publication, it’s not known whether or not the videos are related. Western Australian Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly quickly condemned the sickening actions. “‘Frankly,” he said, “anyone who drags a shark behind a car is an idiot.”
Although the Western Australia Departement of Fisheries is looking into the videos, it’s unlikely that charges will be filed against anyone. Sharks aren’t covered under any form of animal abuse legislation, so despite the fact that the men in the videos are clearly torturing animals for entertainment, there aren’t any legal avenues to take. “We have to change legislation,” said Australian RSPCA’s Dave Van Oren. “They need to protection under the review of the animal act.”
Sharks have been a contentious issue in Australia for decades, but in recent years the flames of discord have been fanned harder than usual. Whatever the case, though, the humans in the videos torturing the sharks are smarter than a shark who is killing by instinct. And if you’re the kind of person who’s into torturing animals… well, you’re much worse than the shark.