Chinese Dogsters, we’re pulling for you! Bark in to let us know what the rest of us can do to help you in your fight to protect our furfriends!
This article ran on MyrtleBeachOnline.com. Please be warned before reading on that there are some rather upsetting details about the fur trade in the article. I have avoided adding any pictures to this article because they are too gruesome.
Possible cat, dog fur ban praised
Abuse of animals for fur not widespread, government insists
By Alexa Olesen
The Associated Press
BEIJING – Chinese animal rights activists welcomed a proposed European Union ban on imports of dog and cat fur, saying last week it would pressure the Beijing government to enact better legal protections for animals, while the government denied torture and cruelty are widespread.
The European Union proposed the ban Monday in all 25 member nations, saying cats and dogs were being kept in cages and slaughtered in cruel conditions for their fur.
Humane Society International estimates 2 million cats and dogs are killed for fur each year, with an estimated 5,400 killed in China each day. A ban on dog and cat fur has been in place in the United States since 2000, but activists complain that labeling is not required on items costing less than $150, so dog and cat fur can be used without consumers’ knowledge.
However, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission, Connie Vecellio, said there was no loophole. “It is illegal to import dog or cat fur products into this country,” she said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Tuesday the country was increasingly aware of animal rights and said the “torture and cruel killing of cats and dogs was by no means a universal phenomenon in China.”
“In recent years, our awareness of protecting animals has been on the rise, especially along with the economic and social development in China and the rise of living standards,” Jiang said when asked about the proposed ban at a press briefing.
But Chinese animal rights campaigners said abuse was widespread. Merchants beat cats and dogs to death and even flay them alive for their skins, said Zhang Dan, vice chairman for the China Small Animal Protection Association.
She welcomed the proposed EU ban, saying “it’s a very important signal to the Chinese government and there’s no way they can’t notice it.”
“Many animal rights volunteers in China are trying to spread the news of what’s happening here and I hope people in the West will notice,” she said.
Activists say cat and dog fur is mainly used for lining gloves, as trim on boots and coats, as well as on keys chains and toys. One Chinese trader said, however, that most exporters would prefer to use rabbit fur because it’s cheaper.
“Rabbit is the cheapest fur in China,” said Liu Ning, a trader with Furshion, a fur import-export business based in Hebei province. “If they are using cat or dog instead of rabbit, it doesn’t make sense economically.”