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November 20, 2006

Humane Society International Applauds EU Commission for Proposal to Ban Cat/Dog Fur Trade

Humane Society International/UK

WASHINGTON  -- The Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International today applauded the European Commission for proposing an EU-wide ban on the import, export or trade of dog and cat fur. The announcement was made today at a press conference in Brussels by EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection Markos Kyprianou.

The grisly business was first exposed in 1998 when HSI released undercover video from inside China of the brutal slaughter of domestic cats and dogs for their fur. Investigators found that some animals were being raised in cold and unsanitary breeding grounds, some were strays, and others were pets most likely stolen. Killing methods include bleeding to death, hanging and evening skinning them alive.

As a result of the investigation, the United States, Italy, France, Greece, Belgium and Denmark have banned the practice. 

HSI has worked on the issue with many members of the EU Paliament under the leadership of MEP Struan Stevenson, who has campaigned tirelessly to end the practice. The Commission hopes the legislative work on this will result in an enforced ban by the end of the coming year.

"This is an important first step to bring an end to the inhumane conditions forced upon hundreds and thousands of cats and dogs in China and elsewhere," said Patricia Forkan, president of HSI. "Humane Society International is grateful to MEP Stevenson for leading the charge in Europe against this heinous activity and to Commissioner Kyprianou for taking a stand along side us to eradicate the slaughter of millions of animals each year in the name of fashion."

Nearly 2 million cats and dogs in Asia are slaughtered each year for their fur, which is then shipped to Europe and Russia. Usually one coat takes the fur of 10 to 12 dogs, more if the coat is made from the fur of puppies; one coat made of cat fur is produced by killing up to 24 cats.

To keep the origin secret from consumers, the fur is mislabeled with names such as gae wolf, sobaki, or Asian jackal for dog products and wildcat, goyangi, and katzenfelle for cat products.

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