Britain finally bans cruel shark fin soup as MP’s Bill wins backing in Commons

The cruel trade in shark fins could be banned in Britain – just weeks after the Sunday Mirror revealed fins are still served in restaurants.

It would mean an end to dishes such as shark fin soup on menus – to the delight of animal welfare ampaigners.

In May our probe found the supposed delicacy was being offered to diners in London, Liverpool and Manchester for as little as £12 a bowl.

Labour MP Christina Rees stepped in with a private members’ bill to ban the import and export of fins after the Tories failed to honour their pledge for a law.

Ms Rees’ Bill won cross-party support in the House of Commons on Friday and backers now hope it will become law before Christmas.

She said: “This Bill is crucial to ensuring the survival and recovery of vital shark populations.

“It is an important step for the UK to demonstrate its leadership and commitment to shark conservation.”

While the UK’s trade only accounts for a tiny fraction of the global industry it is still worth millions of pounds.

Activists hope the law will send a strong signal to the EU where Spain still exports around 200,000 kilos of shark fins to Hong Kong each year from 700,000 dead blue sharks.

To get the fins, fishermen slice them off then toss the shark back to suffocate on the ocean floor.

A quarter of shark species risk extinction due to shark fin soup which is a status symbol in parts of East Asia.

Around 73 million sharks a year are killed for their fins. Our probe found restaurants offering the soup secretly, fearing a backlash.

Alex Hofford of campaign group Shark Guardian, which helped with our investigation, said: “This will have a huge knock-on effect in Europe.

“Our MPs made us proud. They showed the world that the cruel and unsustainable global shark fin trade.”