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Cat and Dog Fur is Banned?

The Ban

Cat and Dog fur is banned in the European Union, from 1st January 2009 or so I have read yesterday. It took an MEP (Member of the European Parliament) 9 years campaigning to achieve this. His name is Struan Stevenson and he should be on the honours list next year. You are one of us kind sir.

This is a massive move in the correct direction as more than 2 million cats and dogs give up their skins for the pleasure of humans. Most people just don't think about the fur on the inside of their gloves or the trimming on coats etc. But it could well be, and probably is, the fur of someones cat, brutally killed in China and skinned, quite probably while the cat is still alive. The same fate awaits dogs. Please don't buy anything with fur on it or in it, unless you know where the fur came from. If the product is made in China, forget it and move on.


cat fur products and trade
Photo by adriansalamandre published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License.

Switzerland and Russia - the bad boys


OK, progress is being made but how much progress? The center of import/export of cat and dog fur on the European continent is Switzerland, I thought, and Switzerland is not in the European Union (see Cat Fur - Switzerland). Neither is Russia in the EU and the Russians are the biggest consumers of fur products. I guess in that cold climate they like their fur coats etc.

Yet, Russia is a country where there is a cat fancy (cat lovers), where they like their cats. Fancy purebred cats have come out of Russia; the Kurilian Bobtail and the Russian Blue spring to mind. So come on Russian Cat Fancy! Let us hear you shout out at the top of your voices against wearing fur products. You, I am afraid to say, owe a duty to the cats of the world not just your little cat fancy world to stop rank cruelty to cats. You cannot wear cat fur coats and keep purebred cats at the same time.

Although cat and dog fur is banned in Europe it seems we have a long way to go before we can shut out from our minds the frightened squeal of a cat being skinned alive. Lets remind ourselves that it is not only Russia and Switzerland that trades in this fur. Belgium has a record and Germany likes the stuff and there are more countries. What about the eastern European countries. Romania, for example, has a very poor animal rights track record. Cat and dog fur is banned? I doubt it.

The Products

These are the products to avoid buying (come on now, its the recession - please stop buying this stuff:

--Full length full coats
--Fur Jackets
--Fur trimmed garments
--Hats
--Gloves
--Decorative Accessories
--Stuffed toys
--Key fob gizmo
--Any small object with fur on it

The Pain

Here is a brief reminder of the kind of ways cats are killed for their fur in China where there are no animal welfare laws to protect domestic companion animals. I find it hard to write this, believe me, but it must be done. I refer to cats. Dogs are treated just as appallingly.

Cats at cat breeding farms in the city of Hinan, Hebei province, are killed by hanging. Or they are hung by a wire while water is poured down their throats through a hose until they drown. The stomach is then slit open and the fur removed starting at the head. The cat may still be alive. At the time of the HSUS investigation (probably a year or so ago) there were over 100,000 skins in storage at one factory alone. Mass slaughter on a grand scale. I am sure there are many more and brutal ways of doing it.

Apparently long haired cats are kept by some Chinese as pets while shorthaired grey and ginger cats are kept tethered outside on a wire before slaughter. It's a kind of Armageddon in China for the domestic cat. About half a million cats are kept and killed like this in China each year during the "killing season" (my phrase) of October to February. Do the Chinese care that cat and dog fur is banned in Europe? No, the black market will thrive and anycase there are other countries.

The Pricing

Gray and orange cat skins $2.60 each. They can vary between 50 cents to $2.60 it seems. 24 cats make one coat.

Germany

Fur in Germany dog fur is known as "gae-wolf". Do they know it's dog fur from a dog brutally kept and killed? Do they care? Calling such fur gae-wolf is so typical of humankind. We love to hide behind language that misrepresents the truth because we can't face the truth about ourselves, it's too horrible. There are internet sales of fur products (coats) in Germany and importers. Cat and dog fur is banned in Europe but will Germany stop importing it from China?

France

They have their own misrepresenting language. They call dog fur loup d’Asie, or “wolf of Asia". Nice one France, very imaginative. It is used on coats and imported (direct?) from good ole China. Cat and dog fur is banned in Europe but will France enforce the ban? Can they enforce it?

Italy

They make great shoes. Shame the insole fur came from a once loved dog brutally killed and skinned.

USA

Fur imported is impossible to track as to source. Cat and dog fur is categorized as NESOI (Not Elsewhere Specified or Otherwise Indicated). Or perhaps “Mongolia dog fur”. Mislabelling and misleading specifications etc are commonly used to disguise the source. Commerce wins over morality, it always does. Cat and dog fur is banned in Europe but will go on unabated in the massive market of America? Is that fair comment?

Cat and Dog Fur Banned? -- I don't think so. Do you?

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Comments

Everycat said…
What an excellent blog you have here. Really, a top job!

Did you ever see a documentary made by the UK broadcaster and programme maker Antony Thomas called Man & Animal? It was shown on C4 possibly in 1995? This had an extensive segment on the cat meat trade in China, and showed in lurid detail the process of killing cats for meat to be served in trendy restaurants. This was not a case of the uneducated poor being the customers, no, the clientelle of the restaurent featured were educated professionals and dishearteningly young - people who would be called "yuppies".

The cats were kept outside in over crowded cages and selected by the customers. The cats were grabbed by metal tongs, smashed over the head a few times with a bar, then dunked several times in a cauldron of boiling water "to loosen the skin", then a snip was made at the cat's nose and the skin sort of smooshed off backwards in one go. The cat, still alive, was then put into a tank of salted water, to await filleting, again done whilst the cat was still alive. Discarded and broken cats were left heaped into bins (many still alive and purring in agony) - the restaurent workers appeared to take great pleasure in being as brutal in their handling of these poor animals as possible.

The documentary was shown late at night, due to the atrocious cruelty it contained and did not garner as many viewers as it really deserved because of this.

I can never forget those scenes. I despair of the human race and the depths it will sink to, to satisfy its own greed.
Anonymous said…
I can't believe someone would do that to a cat.

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