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February 12, 2010

HSI: Don’t Eat Shark Fin Soup at Chinese New Year Events

An army of volunteers is bringing the Humane Society International campaign against shark finning to Chinese New Year events across North America and in England. The first takes place in Vancouver on Sunday and in New York, Los Angeles, Washington and London next week.

Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatowns around the world are a time when the many wonderful and ancient traditions of Chinese culture are on display for all to see. However, it is also a time when one very destructive dish—shark fin soup—is often served. 

"Many people who eat shark fin soup don't realize how much suffering and destruction goes into every bowl," said HSI's Shu Jen Chen. "We're hoping people will realize that the best way to start the New Year is to do animals a favor and skip the shark fin soup."

Shark fins are often removed when the animals are still alive. The sharks are then thrown back into the water to endure a painful death from suffocation, blood loss or predation by other species.

Sharks are apex predators which play an essential role in marine ecosystems. The cruel and ecologically devastating practice of shark finning endangers their survival—and that of the species that rely on them.

HSI is educating consumers about the devastating impact consumption of shark fin soup has on sharks and marine ecosystems. HSI volunteers will talk to consumers at Chinese New Year events in the D.C. metro area, Los Angeles, New York, London and Vancouver.

Visit hsi.org/sharkfin to view and to download HSI shark finning campaign materials in English and Chinese.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at hsi.org.

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