London, 29 June 2023
Today (Thursday 29th June 2023) Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) has welcomed the passing of the Shark Fins Act into law. This was a Private Members Bill led by Labour MP Christina Rees and led in the House of Lords by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch.
The Shark Fins Act bans the import and export of detached shark fins in order to promote shark conservation. It will extend to imported and exported products containing shark fins including tinned shark fin soup.
Shark finning is the cruel and wasteful practice of removing a shark’s fins at sea and discarding the finless body back in the water. The practice has been banned in the UK since 2003 through the Shark Finning Regulation, and since 2009 a ‘Fins Naturally Attached’ policy has been enforced to further combat illegal finning of sharks in UK waters and by UK vessels worldwide.
This Act goes further to build on these existing protections by preventing the trade of detached shark fins and related products obtained using this method.
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Benyon said in the Government’s official press release:
“Shark finning is an inexcusably cruel practice that has led to the suffering and death of countless sharks. The practice is rightly banned in UK waters, but trade has continued, with serious implications for the future of these magnificent creatures.
“That is why it is so important we ban the import and export of detached shark fins and I welcome the Shark Fins Act as an important step in our commitment to champion the conservation and sustainable management of sharks wherever they are fished.”
Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, commented: “We are delighted to celebrate the Shark Fins Act passing into law today. The practice of shark finning is incredibly cruel and completely incompatible with our nation’s regard for animal welfare.
“We know that a number of species of shark are sadly classified as “critically endangered”, with the practice of shark finning playing a significant role in their decline. It is our hope that by banning the import and sale of shark fins the UK will send a strong message when it comes to protecting endangered species and standing up for the welfare of animals abroad.”
About Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF)
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation was established in 2016 to raise awareness on the lives of billions of animals reared on intensive farms around the world and how this impact upon animal welfare, the environment and people’s health. We want to highlight the action people can take to help advance farm animal welfare.
Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards.
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation believes it is highly important that the welfare of farm animals is placed at the forefront of the Governments plan for food and farming along with its focus on productivity, competitiveness, and technology.
Media contact: Sophia Stileman (firstname.lastname@example.org)