April 29, 2011
Oregon House Votes to Protect Sharks from Cruel Finning
SALEM, Ore. – The Humane Society of the United States commends the Oregon House of Representatives for passing HB 2838, sponsored by Rep. Brad Witt D-Clatskanie, which prohibits people from possessing, selling, trading or distributing shark fins.
More than 73 million sharks are killed annually primarily for their fins, which are often harvested through “finning,” a practice that involves slicing off the fins of a shark and discarding the animal at sea to drown or bleed to death. Unsustainable fishing methods have led some shark populations to decline by as much as 99 percent in recent decades.
“This unanimous vote by the Oregon House of Representatives sends a strong message that Oregon will not tolerate the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning,” said Scott Beckstead, senior director for The HSUS in Oregon. “We commend Oregon’s state representatives for standing up for the world’s top oceanic predators.”
Often the most expensive item on restaurant menus, shark fin soup is customarily served at Chinese weddings or banquets. The status symbol associated with consuming shark fins is the main driver of the multi-billion dollar international shark fin trade. The dish is highly controversial because of the manner in which shark fins are harvested and the precarious status of many shark populations.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.