Cat and Dog Fur Nov03

Each year over 2 million cats and dogs are slaughtered in China to satisfy demand in Europe for cat and dog fur.


These animals are raised under deplorable conditions and then killed either by stabbing or hanging. Occasionally, they are even skinned alive. After being turned into full-length coats, fur trimmings or cuddly toys, these goods are purposefully mislabelled as rabbit, fox or simply as fake fur. This trade is not only an act of barbaric animal cruelty, it is a blatant display of consumer fraud since most of us are unaware of what we may be purchasing.


Eight European countries support an EU-wide ban on sales, as well as imports and exports of cat and dog fur. However, EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner, David Byrne, argues that this is not an EU-wide problem and that it should be up to individual countries to address the issue.


The Commissioner is wrong. The EU's single market with open borders allows these goods to make their way easily from one member state to another. Individual state action is not enough. Only a complete EU-wide ban will put an end to this barbaric trade.


In the European Parliament, we have submitted a declaration requesting the European Commission to immediately draft a regulation under internal market powers to ban the import, export, sale and production of cat and dog furs and skins across Europe.


I urge consumers and animal lovers to put pressure on their local Westminster MPs to raise this matter with the Government and to write to Commissioner Byrne (European Commission, Rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium) demanding that he take immediate action to ban the import, export and sale of these products.


I will continue to push this issue in the European Parliament until this cruel trade is stamped out.