U.S. Supreme Court Upholds California Ban on Shark Fin Sales
Step by step, the U.S. is slowly making decisions that reflect a more widespread understanding of animal rights and the need to protect vulnerable species. This month the U.S. Supreme court rejected an appeal to California’s 2013 ban on shark fin possession and sales. The fins are dried and cooked into soups in traditional Chinese cuisine. San Francisco-area suppliers and sellers of the fins began the appeal process years ago, wanting the freedom to continue this heinous trade on U.S. soil. Luckily, the highest court in the land made a choice in the interest of conservation and upheld the ban.
It is already federally prohibited to engage in “finning,” or the violent removal of sharks’ fins, in the U.S., yet the matter of states’ abilities to institute a ban on selling fins acquired elsewhere was brought into question. Last July, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1, stating:
“The purpose of the (California) shark fin law is to conserve state resources, prevent animal cruelty, and protect wildlife and public health.”
Last week the Supreme Court rejected the appeal and denied to review or comment on the case, which means the 2013 ban will stick. The California case was supported by different conservation groups and the Humane Society of the United States. This decision marks a crucial step toward achieving full protection of all animal species.
Photo credit: Wikipedia