AN MP and a leading animal welfare organisation joined forces to welcome a breakthrough in the campaign to ban the import of cat and dog fur, but warned that any new laws would be toothless without a commitment by Government to enforce any ban.
The ban was voted upon by the European Parliament two weeks ago and agreed. From December 2008 it will be illegal to sell within the EU any products made from cat or dog fur.
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, and the Scottish have campaigned together for a ban on the import and export of cat and dog fur products into the UK since 2003.
Mr Barrett, who is Honorary Vice President of the Scottish SPCA said: ‘This is a historic turning point in the fight to ban this inhumane trade. The vote by members of the European Parliament will set into motion an EU-wide commitment to ban the import of dog and cat fur products to all EU countries.
‘I have lost count of the number of my constituents who have contacted me supporting the campaign for a total ban. This vote will send a clear message that there will no longer be any excuse for inaction.
‘While we are delighted about this key vote, in many respects the hard work has only just begun. The effectiveness of these laws will stand or fall based on how effectively they are implemented by the Government.
‘Warm words on this issue will not be enough. Without effective action from Ministers including border checks and DNA tests then it is likely that imports will continue.’
Natalie Smart, Parliamentary Officer for Scottish SPCA said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that the European Parliament is supporting a ban on this barbaric product. The Scottish SPCA has long campaigned for a UK-wide ban on dog and cat fur, and welcomes the vote from Strasbourg.
‘Dogs and cats are raised in terrible conditions, usually in China, and then brutally killed by strangulation or stabbing solely for their furs and skins. There is absolutely no need for cat an dog fur to enter the EU, and consumers are often unaware of its existence. We have consistently argued that a ban is the best way to rid ourselves of cat and dog fur.
‘It is now imperative that the UK fully implements this ban. Without proper policing, dog and cat fur products will still find their ways onto UK shelves. This cruel trade must end for good.’