Animal Aid

CAT AND DOG FUR - A global trade

Posted 1 May 2002

A kittenImagine someone stealing your cat or dog and skinning them alive before they die a slow, torturous death. As hard as it is to imagine, this is the daily reality for over two million companion animals every year in China. Fuelled by the insatiable demands of the fashion industry, cats and dogs - along with 40 million other animals - are slaughtered for their fur and sold internationally.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and investigative journalist Manfred Karreman followed the blood trail across three continents and filmed cats and dogs being beaten, strangled and stripped of their fur. The route led from Chinese slaughterhouses to European auction houses.

Following the HSUS exposé, America was outraged and the government outlawed the import, export and sale of dog and cat fur products. Unfortunately, most EU countries - particularly Britain - seem reluctant to follow suit. Moreover, the US ban means that more of these products are now likely to be imported into Europe.

A further concern is that consumers may not be aware that fur-trimmed clothing and accessories - or even pet toys - may be made from dog and cat fur.

A BBC investigation into Alaska Brokerage's activities - broadcast on Newsnight - revealed that the UK based company was prepared to sell cat and dog pelts to anyone prepared to pay. A BBC investigator secretly filmed Peter Bartfeld, the former president of the British Fur Trade Association, offering for sale 10,000 'goupee' (dog fur in China) and 150,000 cat furs.

Early Day Motion

Nick Palmer MP brought an Early-Day Motion in the House of Commons, with the support of 224 MPs, urging the government to follow the American precedent.

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