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May 11, 2011

HSI Europe Welcomes New EU Legislation Requiring the Mandatory Labelling of Animal Fur

Humane Society International/Europe

  • They need their fur; we don't. John Pitcher/istock

STRASBOURG, France—Humane Society International/Europe welcomes the adoption of a new EU Regulation on textile names and the related labelling of textile products. This legislation stipulates that clothing manufacturers must clearly indicate the presence of animal-derived products, such as fur, leather or feathers, in textile products using the phrase "contains non-textile parts of animal origin."

Says Joanna Swabe Ph.D., HSI EU director:

"We are delighted that this legislation has finally been adopted. Many consumers can’t tell the difference between fake and real animal fur and therefore assume an inexpensive item of clothing is so cheap it cannot possibly include an animal’s fur. Quite understandably, many people presume that animal fur will be automatically listed on a garment’s label, but up until now there has been no legal obligation in the EU for manufacturers to do this.

"HSI Europe welcomes the mandatory labelling of animal-derived products in textiles; consumers deserve to have the information they need to make informed decisions about what they buy. Many people choose not to buy animal fur products because they have ethical objections to the millions of foxes, mink, rabbits, and raccoon dogs killed every year for their fur.”

In particular, HSI Europe would like to applaud the rapporteur, Dutch MEP Toine Manders (ALDE), and his fellow members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee for recognising the importance of labelling fur and other animal-derived materials in textiles. They remained resolute on this issue during their negotiations with the Council of the European Union to achieve a second reading agreement, despite the Council's previously having outright rejected all the Parliament’s amendments relating to the labelling of products of origin at first reading.

The requirement to indicate the presence of non-textile parts of animal origin using the phrase “contains non-textile parts of animal origin” in the labelling will apply six months after the legislation has entered into force, though manufacturers will be granted 2.5 years to adapt to the new rules. HSI Europe staff hope that these new labelling requirements will enable European consumers to make informed decisions about purchasing garments trimmed with animal fur and prevent them from being hoodwinked into buying the products of animal suffering.

This news comes on the heels of the United States' having recently passed The Truth in Fur Labeling Act.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.

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