European parliament bans the import of cat and dog fur
In a unanimous vote, the European Parliament has today decided to ban the import of dog and cat fur into Europe by December 31, 2008. The closing down of the lucrative European market marks the end of an eight year campaign by Humane Society International (HSI) to have this cruel and unnecessary business abolished worldwide.
“Finally, this ban addresses the public outrage at the cruel and often violent treatment of cats and dogs that are needlessly killed by this vile industry,” said Michael Kennedy, HSI Director. “It is wholly unacceptable for our most loyal and trusted companions to be treated as commodities for this hideous business. Thankfully now we have a global directive that effectively sounds the death-knell for this international fur trade.”
Evidence of the massive, systematic cruelty in the cat and dog fur industry was gathered during an 18-month investigation conducted by a nine-person team from HSI. The global HSI investigation focussed on practices in China, Thailand, Korea and the Philippines, and documented scenes of graphic cruelty where dogs and cats were slaughtered for the manufacture of fur clothing and accessories sold worldwide. This prompted the United States Congress in 2000 to immediately ban the import of dog and cat fur, with the Australian Government following suit shortly after. The European Union, however, denied involvement in the industry until HSI brought evidence of the trade to their doorstep, and the scope of the industry in Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Austria and Belgium, became indisputable.
“This long-awaited decision sends a clear message that the cruelty of the dog and cat fur industry is unacceptable,” said Mr Kennedy. “These bans have proven to be hugely effective at shutting down import industries in the long-term, and have historically received unanimous public support. I am hopeful that shortly we will never again have to witness the brutality that constitutes a fashion accessory made from any type of fur.”
HSI’s global investigation found that between 10 to 12 dogs, and up to 24 cats are killed to manufacture a single coat, more if puppies and kittens are used. It is estimated that this ban will effectively save the lives of over 2 million cats and dogs, cruelly killed for their fur each year to supply the European market.
To see a chronology of the EU’s actions on this issue, please click here.