It is illegal in the European Union and the United States to import or sell the fur of domestic dogs and cats. In Canada, no such law exists. And today, we sadly see why such a law is necessary.
Two major news items have arisen in as many days on the dog and cat fur trade. The first was a press release by US-based group Animal Equality, which outlined the gruesome discoveries of their fourth investigation into the trade in China.
“With the aid of local activists and for over 3 weeks, Animal Equality's investigators infiltrated the Chinese dog and cat fur industry in the provinces ofGuangdongandShandong,” the release says. “Imagestaken by Animal Equality exposed:
- Dealers selling carpets made from dog and cat fur –some of them made from up to 9 or more animals –and a store that sells children's clothing made from cat fur.
- Dogs and cats crammed into small metal cages.
- Animals whose bones are broken when they are thrown from the top of the transportation trucks on their way to slaughter.
- Dogs being severely beaten with sticks on the head.
- Dogs regaining consciousness while being stabbed at the slaughterhouse.
- Animals beingkilled while wearing collars given to them by their families.”
The next day, a distressing article in thelocal.de, an English-language German news outlet, was posted regarding dog and cat fur.
“Berliners were outraged this week after it emerged that some tourist souvenir stands are selling hats made of dog fur,” the article notes. Tests confirmed that the fur was in fact domestic dog, but the geographic origin of the fur is still being investigated.
It is clear that the dog and cat fur industry in China is alive and well, and ample, graphic evidence of this was provided by Animal Equality. It’s clear that the fur is making its way into countries that have clear prohibitions on its import. And it’s clear that designers and retailers in Canada have no legal requirement to identify or even list fur on the label of clothes (unless it is removed from the skin, which it rarely is).
Past governments have blocked our attempts to have the importation of domestic dog and cat fur banned, largely due to pressure from the fur industry itself. But with a new government seated and many fresh faces in the House, it is time to reignite our call.
Write to your Member of Parliament and tell them the truth about dog and cat fur – that it is still legal to import into Canada, and that the fur industry has tried to block it. Plenty of evidence exists to show that this is a real trade with real consequences – and we have no idea how much of it may be here in Canada because there are no laws about it.
Remember to remain calm, compassionate, and polite in your letter. If you receive communication back from your MP, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resources you can cite include this blog and our Make Fur History campaign section.
Dear (Insert name of MP),
The importation of dog and cat fur into Canada remains a legal practice, despite pleas to past governments and representatives. This trade has been banned throughout the European Union and the United States, but is ignored as an issue in Canada.
Ample evidence – some as recent as a few weeks ago – shows this trade to be thriving in rural China, where dogs and cats are stolen, killed, and skinned. The fur ends up on clothing, toys, and various knick knacks as an alternative to more expensive faux fur.
The Canadian government has the authority under the Textile Labelling Act to require all fur to be labelled (it currently is not a requirement), the species to be identified (also not a requirement), and to prevent the importation of certain species.
Please take a look at the resources made available by organizations like The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals and take action, as my representative, to ban this horrific trade.
(Your name and address)
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