On Tuesday, the California Senate gave final approval to a ban on shark finning—the most recent in a string of state and federal laws designed to curb the cruel and wasteful killing of sharks for their fins just for the soup dish. Also within the last week, I wrote about progress for animals at the federal level, including a stronger ban on transporting horses to slaughter in double-decker trailers and an announcement that the Fish and Wildlife Service would initiate, at our request, a scientific analysis of whether to class all chimpanzees as endangered and halt the commercial use of captive chimps for invasive experimentation, the pet trade, and silly commercials.
Many of you on Facebook welcomed the news of California’s shark fin ban:
Sharks need fins…people don't. —Patricia Blackie Tolbert
One of, if not the cruelest things I've ever seen done to any form of wildlife—may this be just the beginning of a world-wide determination to eliminate this barbaric practice! —Nancy Leigh Hendrigan
You also responded to the good news about protecting chimpanzees:
I am so glad that HSUS shows and leads us to ways and places we can help. If everyone does a little…. —Chris Ksoll
We must respect all living creatures, only then will humanity have a chance at peace. The world lacks empathy. There are other alternatives. The easiest way is not always the best way. —Kimberly
And on the rule banning double-decker trailers for horses bound for slaughter:
Thank you for taking up this very important issue. There is one more component to this problem of unwanted horses: overbreeding, especially of thoroughbreds and quarter horses. If people cannot so easily ship their horses off to slaughter, and are forced to take responsibility for the horses they breed and own, perhaps they will think twice before bringing more horses into the world. Hopefully, long-term, this will cut down on the number of unwanted horses in this country. Horse ownership is an expensive, lifelong responsibility—not a way to make a quick buck. I have volunteered for thoroughbred rescues in the past, and it breaks my heart to see so many sweet, wonderful horses lost to slaughter. Again, I thank you for taking up the fight to end this barbaric business. —Teresa Melnick
Good news that double deckers will be banned, but it has to be enforced with rigor. If it is enforced it will quite likely up the transport costs to the kill buyers that it will at least reduce the number of horses being hauled to slaughter long distances if not stop it altogether. —Nigel Kingsley-Lewis
Thank you for all your hard work. I really do not know how you do it, but I am so thankful that you do. —Sue Kelly
If you live in California, please call Gov. Jerry Brown at (916) 445-2841 and urge him to sign A.B. 376 into law to ban the trade in shark fins.