New Mexico's Pet ResourceWINTER/SPRING 2000


AROUND THE WORLD

A Message from the Humane Society:
BAN THE SALE OF CAT AND DOG FUR

Edited for use in Petroglyphs by Pat Wolff

An eighteen-month investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has exposed the fur industry's ugliest secret: the slaughter of companion animals domestic dogs and cats for the manufacture of clothing, accessories and trinkets. Investigators followed the blood trail from the sources, witnessing first hand the brutal slaughter of domestic dogs and cats in China and other Asian nations, and what they was found was shocking.

Many of these animals are raised in deplorable conditions in cold, unsanitary breeding compounds. Some are strays; others are obviously pets who were most likely stolen. The killing methods are cruel, grisly and inhumane. Animals fall victim to crude methods such as slow suffocation, being bled to death, hanging, or bludgeoning and clubbing. Cats are often strangled by wire nooses. Sometimes dogs and cats are skinned alive. All these methods inflict severe trauma and prolonged suffering.

Millions of dogs and cats are killed annually for their fur. Usually ten to twelve dogs are killed to manufacture one coat; even more are killed if the coat is made from the fur of puppies. One coat made of cat fur is produced by killing up to twenty-four cats.

The investigation revealed that the pelts of these dogs and cats are exported to France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere and turned into garments, accessories and trinkets. These products are then shipped to destinations around the world, including the United States. Dogs and cats may be killed in one country, their fur processed in another, and the finished products sold anywhere in the world. The chief use of dog and cat fur sold in the United States is not full-length coats, but fur trim for gloves, hats, toys, and other accessories.

All this is not out of character for the international fur industry. It continues to support the use of steel-jaw leghold traps, snares and conibear traps. It is also responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of wild animals raised in cages and killed inhumanely. Now we know that the fur industry is also responsible for the deaths of millions of domestic dogs and cats. This slaughter is so unconscionable that the industry has tried to obscure the truth with misleading labels. In fact, fur manufacturers told investigators that they would sew any label into dog and cat fur coats to make them marketable, duping consumers about product materials. With rare exceptions, dog and cat products are not labeled as coming from dogs or cats; instead, the products are assigned false or misleading labels. For instance, a dog product may be sold as wolf, sobaki, or Asian jackel. Cat products are sold under many pseudonyms, including wildcat, goyangi, and katzenfelle. At the store of a major U.S. retailer, HSUS investigators recently found jackets trimmed with what the label referred to as "Mongolian dog fur."

U.S. laws are ineffective in regulating the fur industry. The Fur Products Labeling Act, which specifically requires labeling on products made of domestic dog and cat fur, exempts all fur-bearing products that cost $150 or less. This loophole creates a huge port of entry into the U.S. fur market for dog and cat fur. Moreover, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service charged with regulating the import and export of wildlife, including products from both wild-caught and cage-raised fur-bearing animals is not required to inspect or regulate products made from domesticated animals such as dogs and cats.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Don't buy any fur, fur trim, fur accessory or trinket covered with fur.
  • Look for items made with synthetic or faux fur. No animals were harmed in their production.
  • Ask retailers that sell fur products to stop selling these items.
  • Urge your federal legislators to ban commerce in dog and cat fur.
  • Learn more about the global fur industry's exploitation of fur-bearing animals.
  • View our full investigative report and video on the Intemet at www. hsus.org or contact the HSUS at 202-452-1100.

    Our thanks to Pat Wolff and the Humane Society of the United States
    for this important information.

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