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EU plans to outlaw import of cat, dog fur from China

The European Union plans to ban the import and sale of cat and dog fur, mostly from China, which it says is often disguised as synthetic fur or another product and can be found in clothing and children's stuffed animals.

European consumers, concerned they're being misled, have demanded action by the European Commission, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou told reporters in Brussels. The 25-nation bloc will put detection controls in place so the fur can't be imported, even when it's treated or dyed, he said. “Cats and dogs in the EU are considered companion animals and nothing else and we have no tradition of using these animals for their fur,” Kyprianou said. The idea of animals “kept in cages and slaughtered for their fur” is “reprehensible” to consumers in the bloc. “The idea of young children playing with toys using cat and dog fur is something we just cannot accept.” The EU has been working to outlaw cat and dog fur for the past three years. In the meantime, 15 EU governments including France, Italy, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Spain and Poland have already put national bans in place. “The strongest evidence we have concerns China, but we cannot exclude that this trade is happening in other countries,” Kyprianou said. It's not possible to estimate the value of such trade because “it's mostly clandestine,” the health chief said, adding that he expects the law to be in place “quite soon.” French animal rights group AFIPA welcomed the planned measures and e-mailed copies of receipts and quotes from furriers in Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Belgium for coats and other garments made using cat or dog fur. (Bloomberg)