- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban the sale of shark fins in the state.

The House voted 63-0 to pass the bill Thursday. The state Senate passed a companion bill earlier this month. Each chamber needs to approve the other’s bill before it heads to Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo.

The legislation would make it a crime to own or sell a shark fin unless it’s used for scientific research or in preparing a shark for ordinary consumption.

Hawaii became the first of several states that now ban the sale and distribution of shark fins in 2010.

Shark fin soup is popular in Chinese cuisine but animal rights activists criticized the practice of slicing off a shark’s fin and leaving the fish to die.

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