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Senate committee approves ban on shark fins

WASHINGTON (May 18, 2017)—The Humane Society Legislative Fund and The Humane Society of the United States applaud the passage of S.793, the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2017, by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee this morning. S.793 would prohibit the import, export, sale, and trade of shark fins. The HSUS and HSLF urge the Majority Leader to schedule the measure for Senate floor action soon.

Shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice where fins are sliced from often still-living sharks who may then be tossed back into the ocean to die slowly. Shark finning is prohibited in U.S. waters. But there are no prohibitions on the sale of shark fins imported from other places such as China, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

Sara Amundson, senior vice president and executive director of HSLF, said: "As a nation, we ban the sale of ivory and rhino horn, and we should do the same with shark fins. An extraordinary number of animals are killed for a single body part, and that’s cruel, wasteful, and shameful."

The HSUS and HSLF expressed their thanks to the bipartisan sponsors of the bill, Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., John McCain, R-Ariz., Gary Peters, D-Mich., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

A companion House bill, H.R. 1456, introduced by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, D-Northern Mariana Islands, has nearly 100 cosponsors.

Media contact:

Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491,


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at Subscribe to the blog, A Humane Nation. Join The HSUS on Facebook. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.