PM News Pack – shark finning, New Mexico anti-cruelty bill

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The New York Times ran a story on March 5 concerning recently introduced bill in California to ban the sale and possession of shark fins and the serving of shark fin soup.

Sharks are brutally killed for their fins, as they are caught, have their fins cut off and are then released to die a slow death.

Because of this cruelty, Hawaii passed a bill to ban these “products” and stores and restaurants have until June 30 of this year to comply. If not, they can face fines of $5,000 to $15,000 for a first offense.

The New York Times article also reports Oregon and Washington have similar bills working their way the state legislatures.

And this troubling paragraph is included – with a quote from John E. McCosker, chairman of the aquatic biology department at the California Academy of Sciences -

“” Scientists say that as many as 90 percent of sharks in the world’s open oceans have disappeared. “They’re among the ocean’s most vulnerable animals,” Dr. McCosker said. “The whole food web becomes bollixed when you take out the top-level predator.” “”

But culture is sited as excuse for continuing to brutalize sharks and decimate their populations. I’ve heard it before – but “we’ve done it way for generations” is never a good excuse for cruelty.

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In New Mexico, the legislature is also trying to move in a positive direction on animal welfare.

If the bill passes into law, an individual accused of aggravated cruelty could face fourth-degree felony charges.

The KRQE.com story also includes information about the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. Thankfully, we seeing the connection being made more and more.

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