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Fishing groups say a PETA billboard featuring a dog with a fishhook through its lip misrepresents the sport.

Firm reels billboard in after controversy

PETA ad with a fishhooked dog shocked drivers, company

By KEVIN MORAN
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle


GALVESTON - An anti-fishing sign on Interstate 45 that shows a dog with a fishhook through its bloody lip will be taken down because of numerous complaints, a nationwide sign company decided Monday.

Along with the picture, the billboard, paid for by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, bears the question:

"If you wouldn't do this to a dog, why do it to a fish?"

The billboard went up Aug. 10. It is the first in a national campaign to emphasize the animal advocacy group's contention that fishers inflict torturous injuries and deaths on their catches, PETA spokesman William Rivas-Rivas said Monday.

Pat Murray, executive director of the 50,000-member recreational fishing group Coastal Conservation Association Texas, called the billboard "extremist" and said he's glad it will be removed.

"It's a gross mischaracterization of the sport and the pastime," said Murray, adding that he saw the sign, near the intersection of I-45 and Texas 146, on Sunday. "We're not dog fishing."

The billboard's owner, advertising giant Viacom Outdoor, informed PETA's Norfolk, Va., headquarters Monday that Viacom would exercise its contractual right to remove the sign because of complaints.

Viacom spokesman Jeremy Murphy said he was unable to provide the exact number of complaints the company received before deciding to remove the sign.

But in an e-mail announcing the decision to PETA, Viacom employee Cecilia Yu said the company received "numerous complaints from the community."

Rivas-Rivas said PETA will not fight the billboard's removal but plans to place the same advertisement in the New Orleans and Columbus, Ohio, areas, among others.

He said PETA has received no complaints about the billboard.

PETA paid $2,000 to rent the Texas billboard for a month and $400 to produce the sign, Rivas-Rivas said.

Viacom will refund most of the rent, he said.

The billboard ads include the address for a PETA-run Internet site, www.fishinghurts.com. The ads are designed to spur interest in PETA's advocacy campaigns, Rivas-Rivas said.

PETA maintains that scientific studies show that fish feel pain just like other animals, Rivas-Rivas said.

"Just because fish don't scream out in pain doesn't mean we can do whatever we want with them," he said. "Fish aren't swimming vegetables."

PETA supports vegetarian diets and maintains that â€" aside from the pain issue â€" chemically contaminated fish are dangerous to eat.

Murray said he's not sure whether fish experience great pain.

"I'm sure it's possible, but I don't know definitively," Murray said. "There is a lot of science in a lot of different directions on that subject."

Murray said fishing is a traditional American family activity that PETA will not be able to eradicate.

He said groups such as his lobby for regulations to preserve fish species.

Viacom's Murphy said the company tries to ensure billboard content is "responsible, tasteful and appropriate for public display."

"With this in mind, we decided to take this sign down this week," Murphy said.

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i seriously doubt fish feel pain. I've caught two redfish this year that my fishing buddies have broken off, and still had the hooks in their mouths, 10 minutes after they broke off the first guy. They eat stuff with fins all the time, i'm sure their mouths are accustomed to getting poked.
 

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Excellent...... (re:Monty Burns)

Kudos to all those who complained. The Vegan radical left lost this one.....
Dumb Arses! Now to do a little CAT fishing.LOL-thats a joke.
 

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PETA opened my eyes. My 70 lb chessie pup (Fluffy) can really smoke the drag. Of course, I use barbless under a flourocarbon leader. I have a hard time keeping my live bait (cat) on the barbless hook. Any suggestions?
 

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I think the billboard bears looking into. The PETA people who ran a 4/0 hook through the dogs mouth inorder to take the shot should have to prove that the dog was not hurt in any way. IMHO Someone ran a hook through the dogs lip and it's time to talk about that. Any PETA people out there want to own up to this???

Bigwater
 

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KneeDeep&Sink'n
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Hey Pogie...Barbless on a Cat?

Man, cats are getting way too scarce around my neighborhood to go barbless. It is supposed to be "Catch & Rip" not "Catch & Release". These are cats we are talking about, right?

 

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Pogie, that was classic. Fluffy really can smoke the drag..............ILMAO Cats on a barbless...... I can't stop laughing.
 

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Crabby Old Man
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Pogie Power said:
PETA opened my eyes. My 70 lb chessie pup (Fluffy) can really smoke the drag. Of course, I use barbless under a flourocarbon leader. I have a hard time keeping my live bait (cat) on the barbless hook. Any suggestions?
Use a heavy harness on the cat!
I can appreciate any cat with enough onions and garlic.

Note Al on top. American dogs all the way!
 

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What's a Corky?
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I actually have some experience in this. When I was in high school my mom had some friends that had a two acre stock pond with florida strain bass in it. We used to go out there nearly every day after baseball and would regularly catch 5 lb. bass. The owners had two dobermans that were as friendly and playful as could be. They would always hang out with us while we fished. One evening while throwing tops I was walking along the bank with the lure hanging off ready to cast. The overly enthusiastic doberman ran by me and ended up with my spook firmly implanted in his face. It was a terrible sound and even more terrible sinking in my heart. You can only imagine how difficult and heart wrenching it was to rectify this situation. Thank God it was short lived and like most of the big trout I have hooked, he managed to spit the hook pretty quick, but what an interesting few seconds! The dog was fine and continued to be a great fishing partner but scary incident...
 

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Pogie Power said:
Nobody has even debated the real question, "Net or gaff?"
Nets suffice for dog"fish" as they will be released.

Cat"fish" are strictly a harpoon only proposition.

Earl

PS...I know fish don't feel pain. The remora I caught 2 weeks ago with a fresh double hook leader in its mouth told me so...no, really it said "lemme go so I can do it again".

Earl
 
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