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Shark Finning Bill Gains Support From National Wildlife Conservation Group
December 30, 2013
HARRISBURG- State Sens. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and Richard Alloway (R-Adams/Franklin/York) today announced that support for Senate Bill 340 is growing and thanked Born Free USA for publically endorsing the bill.

S.B. 340, which Leach and Alloway teamed up to introduce, would ban the sale and possession of shark fins in the Commonwealth.

“I am happy to announce that national conservation organization Born Free USA has joined our fight to protect the lives and welfare of sharks, and I thank them for their support,” Leach said. “We’re forming a coalition of advocates statewide committed to protecting these animals, which are so essential to marine life, and we are hopeful that this bill will be signed into law this session.”

“It is great to see our bipartisan effort to prevent shark finning receiving national attention,” Alloway said. “This is a dangerous and barbaric practice, and banning the sale or possession of shark fins in Pennsylvania is the best way we can protect ocean ecosystems.”

According to its Web site, Born Free USA’s mission is to“alleviate animal suffering, protect threatened and endangered species in the wild, and encourage everyone to treat wildlife everywhere with respect and compassion.” Born Free USA joinsFin Free Pennsylvania and Shark Angels in public support of S.B. 340.

“Shark finning does not threaten just a few sharks, but 73 million sharks each year worldwide. Many of these sharks are endangered species,” Born Free USA said in a letter of support for the legislation. “Sharks reach maturity later in life than other fish and have small litters of offspring, making them highly susceptible to overfishing.  As more states in the U.S. pass bans on shark finning, the global threat to shark populations dwindles. We are hopeful that the Pennsylvania legislature will swiftly follow your lead and pass this crucial piece of legislation.”

Shark finning is the process by which poachers catch sharks in huge numbers, remove their fins, and then dump their bodies back into the ocean. Though the sharks are still alive, they are unable to swim without their fins and, ultimately, they suffocate, starve to death or are killed by another animal. Most times, the fins are bought and used by restaurants to make shark fin soup. It is estimated that shark populations along the Atlantic coast of the United States have decreased by 90 percent from their historic levels due to the cruel and inhumane practice of shark finning.

S.B. 340 currently awaits consideration by the Appropriations Committee.

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