Dog And Cat Fur Products Flooding Europe

The European Union (EU) has taken the lead on numerous animal welfare
issues, including bans on cruel battery cages, pig gestation crates, veal
crates, and the steel-jawed leghold trap (all still widely in use in the
U.S.). That's what makes EU Commissioner David Byrne's refusal to
implement an EU ban on dog and cat fur items especially surprising and
troublesome. Asian dog and cat fur and skin products have been flooding
European markets ever since the U.S. implemented a ban on their import and
export two years ago. In response, on November 27, ten out of fifteen EU
Ministers of Agriculture asked Commissioner Byrne to implement a similar
ban. Their formal request echoes the sentiments of countless EU citizens
who have been appalled by the deplorable conditions under which dogs and
cats are raised and killed for their furs in China– kept in filthy,
disease-ridden cages before being strangled, stabbed, and sometimes
skinned alive solely for their fur.

Aside from the extreme cruelty, dog
and cat fur is also a trade issue, and because of a lack of labeling or
deliberately deceptive labeling unwary consumers are routinely duped into
unwittingly buying products made with dog and cat fur. Yet Commissioner
Byrne has countered by insisting that such a ban be implemented separately
by each country in the EU. However, the EU has a clear obligation, under
its internal market policy, to protect its citizens from consumer fraud.

Please contact any friends, family and colleagues in Europe to urge
Commissioner Byrne to implement a ban on dog and cat fur products,
focusing on the consumer fraud issue. Although dog and cat fur products
are, like all fur products, the result of terrible suffering, the
compelling argument for the Commissioner is likely to be the concern about
consumer fraud. European citizens must tell him that they have no
confidence in what they purchase as long as cat and dog furs and skins are
sold in Europe.

Commissioner David Byrne
Commission for Health and Consumer Protection
Rue de la Loi 200
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
fax (from Europe): 0032-2-298-1499

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