Australia - protests over new shark cull rules

Last updated at 09:30
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Leah reports on the shark protests

Thousands of people are protesting on beaches in Australia against a new policy which allows fishermen to catch and kill any large sharks they find.

The new ruling has been brought in by the government of Western Australia.

They say it's to cut down on the number of shark attacks after seven people were killed by them in the last three years.

But protesters say this isn't the answer and killing sharks would damage the natural order of life in the sea.

Living creature

One protester at a beach in Perth said: "Without the sharks there will be no future for humanity because they balance out the ecosystem and every living creature in the sea is really important."

At a demonstration in Melbourne, another protester said: "We're better than killing wildlife in vengeance. We need to use the science that's there, to work with the science that's there, to learn to live with these creatures instead of culling them."

Saving people's lives

In some areas, like Perth beach, hooks with bait on them have been placed along the shoreline in a bid to lure the creatures away from swimmers.

State Premier Colin Barnett told reporters: "I get no pleasure out of seeing sharks killed, but I have an overriding responsibility to protect the people of Western Australia. That's what I'm doing."