#Animal Welfare

Mattel/Matchbox have recently released a product into their Mega Rig range called the Shark Ship.

The product contains a large shark, a diver with diving cage and the parts to build a variety of ships, complete with a large harpoon.

The promotional material of the product shows the shark attacking the diver, the ship saving the diver from attack and the shark being harpooned by the boat, then loaded on to be transported away.

Children picking up this toy will be encouraged to look upon sharks as a man eating menace, a threat that needs to be eradicated through deadly force. They will grow up believing that divers place their lives at risk each time they take a dip below the waters surface, that sharks will attack given the least bit of provocation, that the only good shark is a dead shark, that it is OK to hunt and kill sharks, that killing endangered species is a fun past time.

Here are some basic facts:

Sharks do not eat humans. In the rare cases that a shark does attack a human, it is generally through mistaken identity, where the shark thought the human was a seal or some other natural prey.

In 2006 there were 64 shark attacks worldwide of which 4 were fatal. Compare that statistic with human fatalities caused by bee stings, dog attacks, horses, or, of course, other humans.

The vast majority of divers are thrilled to see a shark when diving, and are more then happy to do so without the protection of a diving cage, chain mail suits, cattle prods or any other protection. Shark attacks on divers are extremely rare.

The world wide population of sharks is declining rapidly, many of the key species are facing a very real threat of extinction. As the apex predator of the oceans, significant declines in their numbers will upset the balance of the marine ecosystem with potentially devastating results for the marine and land environments.

Mattel is the largest manufacturer and distributor of toys around the world. This is a position of responsibility, their toys feed the imagination of the children they reach, this play time generates a foundation for their beliefs and their understanding of the world they live in, how they will care for this world as they grow into adults.

We, the undersigned, call on Mattel/Matchbox to remove the Mega Rig Shark Ship from it's product range.

We, the undersigned will boycott all products that hold the Mattel logo, including products from Matchbox, Fisher-Price, Barbie, American Girl and Hot Wheels, until the Mega Rig Shark Ship has been removed from the product range.

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The Remove the Mega Rig Shark Ship from Mattel/Matchbox Product Range petition to Mattel/Matchbox was written by Stuart Keasley and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.