By Greg Milam
June 19, 2007
The "horrific" trade in cat and dog fur is to be outlawed in Europe
from today after a decade-long campaign for a ban.
Millions of animals die each year
The import and export of fur, mainly from China, is estimated to
claim the lives of two million cats and dogs a year.
Campaigners - who have included celebrities such as Heather Mills
McCartney - say the products creep into the consumer market because
traders deliberately mis-label them.
It is used in a variety of products, everything from coats, fur
trimmed garments, hoods, hats and gloves to fur pom poms on
sweaters, novelty key rings and hair accessories.
Undercover footage, filmed by the charity Humane Society
International, has revealed the fate of many of the animals.
Campaigners say dogs and cats are bred in dank facilities with
inadequate food and water. Those conditions optimise the thickness
and length of their fur, but make them weaker and sicker in time for
Often, they are sold in open-air markets while breeders sell dog
flesh to restaurants. Locals then use the cat and dog fur
themselves, or sell to dealers in Europe.
Fur coats on sale
The European Parliament stepped in last year and officials will
approve the move in Strasbourg later.
Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy, president of the Parliament's Consumer
Affairs Committee, says the campaign has the support of one million
people across Europe.
She said "Many European citizens are unwittingly deceived into
buying garments made out of cat and dog fur due to mislabelling.
This law will put an end to these deceptive practices."
Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson has been a long-time
campaigner. "The horrific trade in cat and dog fur is about to meet
"Millions of EU citizens who signed petitions, sent emails and wrote
letters have persuaded Europe's political law-makers to act."
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