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May 21, 2013

Animal Advocates Encouraged by Progress for Shark Fin Ban in Texas Legislature, Vow Future Efforts after Bill Dies in Senate

The Humane Society of the United States Texas State Director Katie Jarl issued the following statement:

“The unsustainable demand for shark fins has had a devastating impact on shark populations worldwide and it is disappointing that the Senate did not vote this session on legislation to end our contribution to the cruel and wasteful practice. A ban on shark fin products is the most effective way to eliminate the demand and to help eradicate shark finning around the world. We’ll continue to fight in Texas for these laws.”

HB 852 was supported by a broad coalition of 45 organizations including zoos, aquariums, fisherman, conservation associations and tourism, religious, environmental and animal welfare groups as well as by a large number of Texas constituents. Sen. Troy Fraser, R-District 24, and Sen. Larry Taylor, R-District 11, were critical of this commonsense legislation and blocked a vote in the Senate. HB 852, sponsored by Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-District 38, passed the House with a 87-42 vote.

FACTS

  • California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon and Washington – as well as all three U.S. Pacific territories of Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands – have passed laws to provide critical protection to sharks and for the health of the world's ocean ecosystems. New York has passed similar legislation and is awaiting Gov. Cuomo’s signature
  • Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year. Shark populations cannot sustain current slaughter rates
  • Unlike other fish species, sharks produce few pups, and thus, many species are endangered and/or threatened due to the fin trade
  • Existing federal law that prohibits shark finning is insufficient to address local markets for shark fins, which is why state laws prohibiting sales are so crucial

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 240-672-8397; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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