16:24 GMT18 June 2021
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    A "disturbing" video showing animal cruelty has caused a storm of public outrage. During the summer, a video surfaced showing three young men on a speedboat with a shark being dragged behind it with a rope.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has charged three men with 'aggravated animal cruelty'.

    In a statement, the FWC's chairman Bo Rivard thanked the public for their patience and support during the investigation, which has lasted several months.

    "It is our hope these charges will send a clear message to others that this kind of behavior involving our fish and wildlife will not be tolerated," Bo Rivard said.


    The three men involved were reportedly identified in July, but their names have only now been revealed to the public: Michael Wenzel, 21, Spencer Heintz, 23 and Robert Lee Benac, 28. All of them were charged with two felony counts of "aggravated animal cruelty," while Wenzel and Benac were also charged with misdemeanor counts of "illegal method of take."

    "The State Attorney's Office is committed to holding these men accountable for having engaged in such senseless and unjustifiable animal cruelty," the FWC chairman added.

    News of the upsetting video reached Florida Governor Rick Scott, who described it as 'disturbing' and asked whether new rules need to be adopted to prevent such things from happening in the future.

    READ MORE: Great White Shark's 'Surprise Attack' Nearly Beheads Scuba Diver (VIDEO)

    Users on Twitter reacted with joy to the news of the charges.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, animal cruelty, shark, Rick Scott, Florida
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