Undercover investigators documented warehouses in China filled to capacity with skins and pelts awaiting shipment to the US, Russia and the EU.
Asian merchants bragged that they could fraudulently label any item to confuse consumers, dye it to appear as though it was faux fur (or even mink) or not label it at all.
The US banned the import, export, sale and production of cat and dog fur in the US in 2002 — when evidence was shown that dog fur was being sold on parka jackets at the Burlington Coat Factory and on cat figurines on sale at Hallmark. Both retailers had no idea the items contained real fur.
With the loss of the US market, sales appear to have shifted to the EU to make up for lost revenues. Humane Society International (the international arm of Humane Society of the US) has found cat and dog fur readily on sale in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and a group Bont voor Dieren found it in the Netherlands.
Chemical analyses done on a toy mouse and a cat figurine from China which children might play with – found excessive levels of chromium which may affect children’s DNA. The testing was done by a certified lab in the Netherlands where the items were sold on the market.
In Dec 2003, the European Parliament approved by a large majority a written declaration calling on the EU to ban the import, export, sale and production of cat and dog fur.
And later on this page it continues with:
At holiday time in the EU, consumers are at greater risk of purchasing (unwittingly) these items since dog and cat fur can be found as lining in ski boots and gloves, trim on parkas, full coats, covering sleeping cat figurines, as hair bows (dyed to look like faux fur) and a host of other items – including some dog chew toys! There is no labeling law nor would one be sufficient – since Chinese merchants have great skill in making up names for the fur and/or copying well known labels.
In an undercover investigation in Belgium, Humane Society International taped a dealer bragging that while most of his furs came from China, some might actually come from dogs and cats that were stray or lost or even farmed in Belgium. When this aired in Feb 2004 it caused worldwide reactions.
There is a petition on McCartney’s site to end the dog and cat fur trade. Follow this link to sign the petition.