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Dutch Government Votes To Ban Cat And Dog Fur Trade

In early November the Dutch House of Commons accepted by majority a resolution to ban the trade and import of cat and dog fur in the Netherlands. The resolution was proposed by Dutch MP Krista van Velzen.

Millions of dogs and cats are kept in nightmarish conditions and brutally slaughtered each year as part of the international fur industry. Most dog and cat fur comes from Asian nations, including China, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Dog and cat fur pelts are exported from these nations to retailers and wholesalers in Europe and North America. Finished products using dog and cat fur may be sold anywhere in the world.

Dog and cat fur is primarily used for fur-trimmed parkas, gloves, hats, stuffed animals, and toys. As part of its ongoing investigation into the international trade in dog and cat fur, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that 20% of fur-covered animal figurines use dog and cat fur (the rest of the fur for these items comes from rabbits and goats).

With rare exceptions, products using dog and cat fur are labeled deceptively.

Dog-fur products may be labeled "gae-wolf"', "Sobaki", "loup d'Asie", "dogue de Chine", or "goupee". Cat fur may be referred to as "katzenfelle", "goyangi", "maopee", "natuerliches mittel", and "gatto cinesi".

Some items are simply labeled as "real" or "genuine" fur. The importer of the fur product usually determines how the product will be labeled.

By passing the resolution The Netherlands joins a small but growing group of nations to have a ban against the trade in dog and cat fur.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Dog and Cat Protection Act, which bans the import, export, and sale of products made from dog and cat fur.

Denmark, France, and Italy have also outlawed the trade, and Sweden may follow suit in the summer of 2004. The Australian government is also considering its position.

In an interview conducted by e-mail, van Velzen wrote, "I hope other politicians in the Netherlands will [realize] that banning cat and dog fur in a way is quite [hypocritical]. What is the difference between a cat and a mink[?] [O]nly the cuddling factor. There is a strong need to stop all fur farming immediately. I hope this resolution is a step towards that."

by Stefanie Henkin-Gunning

2003 Animal News Center, Inc.