Audubon: Stomping on Terrified Fish is Not Conservation


In a vicious display of animal cruelty, employees of Cabela’s outdoor recreation goods store were recently filmed stomping and crushing fish to death. The fish were captives in an incredibly cruel “catch and release pond,” where members of the public repeatedly hook and drag fish by their sensitive mouths over and over again. The National Audubon Society recently awarded a medal to the CEO of Cabela’s parent company, Bass Pro Shops and can help end this cruelty. Help us voice the silent screams of these fish: join us in urging Audubon to denounce fish torture at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shop stores!

Catch and release ponds are the underwater equivalent of canned hunting, only worse since the victims are maimed and mutilated day after day. Fish are bred to be imprisoned and tormented for fun in Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops ponds. They endure horrific fear and pain. Their flesh is impaled and severely injured by the hooks which surround them in tiny, make-shift “ponds.” Once hooked, the fish endure the trauma of being pulled from the water, which causes them to struggle and suffocate.

Fishing is a blood sport. Many fish are blinded by hooks and suffer from an agonizing condition that causes their stomachs to expel from their mouths. If the fish does not die initially, they are doomed to endure the same torturous catch and release process over and over again until they do.

Cabela’s stated that the fish stomping incident that occurred at their Kalispell, Montana location is “a clear violation of our policies and procedures for animal care,” but the company should not act surprised when its employees engage in animal abuse if it openly endorses the killing of animals for “sport.”

A catch and release pond at Cabela’s, where fish repeatedly suffer for entertainment. Image via In Defense of Animals.

While the National Audubon Society openly supports hunting, it is difficult to fathom how the organization could ever support the twisted repeated torture of farmed fish in the catch and release ponds found at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops nationwide.

Please join us in urging The National Audubon Society to condemn Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops’ cruelty.

What You Can Do:

We need you to call on The National Audubon Society by phone and letter to hold true to its mission by condemning Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops catch and release ponds. It must rescind the honor it awarded to Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops CEO, if canned fishing is not immediately halted.

1. Call the National Audubon Society’s customer service number at (844) 428-3826. Calling is one of the most effective actions you can take for animals. If you are a member, be sure to mention it.

Here’s an example of what you can say:

“Hi, my name is _____. I am respectfully urging the National Audubon Society to issue a statement condemning the “catch and release ponds” used by Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops, where fish are imprisoned and repeatedly hooked by members of the public. This causes them severe pain and distress. If Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops does not agree to stop using catch and release ponds, the National Audubon Medal that was awarded to its CEO should be rescinded.”

2. Send a letter to the CEO of the National Audubon Society by filling out the form on the right side of this page.

Featured image: trout swimming. Fish feel pain and suffer, and deserve protection from the humans who harm them for entertainment. Image credit Carlos Scheidegger, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 valued supporters and a 30-year history of protecting animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi. Our main headquarters are established in San Rafael, California. Click to see author's profile.

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