Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sign Petition to Ban Canadian Imports of Dog and Cat Fur

There is a LOT of information here and I know it will take a while to read and to digest but PLEASE take the time to do it, please. And when you have read my post, please take the time to sign the online petition to stop the import of dog and cat skins into Canada. In order to stop this horrific practice we have to stop the profit from this barbaric and inhuman practice. And, no, I didn't spell wrong - this practice is INHUMAN not inhumane. There is NO humanity whatsoever in this Chinese industry. ~Mimi

Target: Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

In an internal memo issued this week, government officials in Canada urged Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz not to ban cat and dog fur imports, arguing that such a ban would weaken Canada's position against the banning of seal products by other countries.

This sentiment goes against the vast majority of Canadians who decry the annual seal hunt and the government's effort to protect the seal fur trade. A recent poll showed that 86 percent of Canadians supported the right of the EU to ban its trade in seal products, while 79 percent opposed the use of government money to defend the commercial seal hunt.*

What's more, a large number of the estimated 2 million dog and cat skins originate in China, where regulations are virtually nonexistent and animal suffering is beyond extreme. And because Canada has no labeling requirements for fur garments, it is nearly impossible for consumers to avoid the cruelty-ridden skins.

The United States and the European Union already prohibit the import of dog and cat fur. Now it's time for Canada to follow suit! Tell Prime Minister Harper and Agriculture Minister Ritz that you do not support the import of cat and dog fur - or the commercial seal slaughter.

Go HERE to sign the petition! Let our voices be heard loud and clear! If you don't want to take the time to sign the petition - read below - if you can - if you don't get sick - if you love your dog or cat. And, if you don't sign the petition, look into your cat or dog's eyes and imagine that someone came into your home, grabbed your companion and skinned it alive.

Dogs and Cats Skinned Alive for Their Fur in China

By Gary Feuerberg
Epoch Times Washington, D.C. Staff

Just look at the frightened faces!
China has become the world's largest exporter of fur garments in just a few years. Many of the international fur traders, manufacturers, and fashion designers have shifted their business to China, where they can exploit China's cheap labor and the absence of restrictive animal welfare regulations.

China's new ascendance in the fur market—fur trade production and retail—comes with a heavy price for the fur-bearing animals. China apparently has no laws in place to regulate the confinement and slaughter of the raccoon dogs, foxes, minks, rabbits, and even dogs and cats, whose fur is responsible for a highly profitable industry. While conditions of fur farms in the West have been subjected to criticism by animal rights groups, Chinese fur farms and slaughter methods have been alleged to be far more shocking and brutal.

China's fur industry has developed across numerous fur farms over the last 12 years. China's farms number as many as 10,000, where 90% of the skins come from farms with fewer than 50 females, according to the China Leather Industry Association, cited in a report published by Swiss Animal Protection (SAP), Care for the Wild, and East International, (henceforth, called the "SAP report") in January 2005 and updated last month.

Fur farms tend to be concentrated in China's North East. Fur farms in Shandong province hold the highest number of animals, followed by Heilongjiang province and then Jilin province. Hebei province acts as the hub for the marketing of fur. At the Shangcun Market in Hebei province, 35 million fur skins are traded each year, which accounts for over 60% of China's pelt trade. The above information is taken from Chinese industry sources cited in the SAP report.

It was in the Shangcun Market that a 14-minute video was secretly produced in February 2005 by the Swiss Animal Protection SAP which shows the skinning of raccoon dogs, foxes and other animals that are still alive and even struggling (see WARNING: Images may be disturbing to some viewers).

An investigative reporter from the Beijing News observed conditions at the Shangcun Market two months after the video was on the Internet and the report appeared in the online version, April 5, 2005. A spokesperson from the county's Communist Party Committee propaganda department was quoted as saying that the live skinning took place seven or eight years ago but could not happen now. However, the reporter for the Beijing News confirmed that skinning alive of most animals at this largest of fur markets in China was still going on even after it had been exposed earlier.

Slaughtering the Fur Animals in China

The animals are immobilized by being stunned with repeated blows to the head, or by being slammed on the ground. The animals are injured and may convulse, tremble or attempt to crawl away, says the SAP report—this is also shown repeatedly in the video. The skinning may begin while the animal is conscious or regaining consciousness.

"Desperate and writhing in agony, animals conscious during these procedures hopelessly try to defend themselves even to the point where all the skin had been forced off …breathing, heart beat…and eyelid movements were evident for 5 to 10 minutes," describes the SAP report of the video and photos.

The International Fur Trade Federation (IFTF), of which China is a member, deplored the SAP report, arguing that it made sweeping generalizations about the conditions in all of China. "It is wrong to portray all fur farming as the same in China," said the IFTF. Some fur farms are run to western standards, said the IFTF. Conditions will improve for animal welfare in China when fur farmers come to realize that the quality of the pelts improve by employing western standards of animal welfare, and that through education, the situation will correct itself—this is the gist of the IFTF's response.

Fur Trim in Fashion

The fur garments are most commonly sold in the U.S., Europe or Japan as fur-trim on coats, gloves, purses, toys, trinkets, and even furniture. By mixing fur with silk, wool, suede and leather, and employing new manufacturing processes, such as shearing and knitting, and new fashionable colors, fur has attained a new novelty and versatility, according to sources cited in a Care for the Wild International (CWI) report.

"Overall, fur was displayed in greater numbers than in previous years, coming in all colors, shapes and sizes," commented a CNN report on fur's popularity on runways during New York's Fashion Week in February 2005. However, consumers may not have noticed the large increase of fur use in fashion today, because fur-trim is much less conspicuous than the expensive full-length fur coats worn in the past, added that most people would be too embarrassed to wear those today.

U.S. fur sales in 2003 were $1.8 billion, according to the Fur Information Council of America, cited by CWI. "China has become the leading fur garment exporter to the USA, accounting for 40% of total US imports in 2004—the equivalent of $7.9 million," according to the SAP report. However, exact import statistics are difficult to obtain because fur trimmings are not specifically declared to customs, says the SAP report.

Protests Staged in Washington and 35 Cities Worldwide

The Anti-Fur Society of Washington, D.C.—a member of the International Anti-Fur Coalition—disapproves of the cramped wire cages that leave almost no room for the animal to move about. In these cramped quarters, the animals show signs of extreme anxiety and pathological behaviors, according to a report by CWI. The Anti-Fur Society of Washington, D.C. especially objects to the slaughter methods, including the skinning of the animals alive, "which makes China's fur industry the most barbaric in the world," says their press release. Their membership find these practices highly disturbing and horrifying.

The group is also appalled at the frequent use of domestic dog and cat fur. Although against U.S. law, a loophole in customs law and mislabeling permits their use in the U.S., they say. Fur items priced at less than US$150 are not checked by Customs for truthful labeling upon entry. The group contends that unsuspecting customers are purchasing items with dog and cat fur. They claim that even Burlington Coat Factory, Macy's, JC Penny, Nordstrom, Saks and Barneys are selling dog fur as the fur from another species or even labeled as "faux fur."

A UK-based charity, Care for the Wild International (CWI), reported that on Nov 20, 2006, the E.U. banned imports of pelts of dogs and cats. The CWI stated that 5,400 dogs and cats are slaughtered every day in China. "Chinese suppliers offered us entire sheets made of dozens and dozens of cat skins—all in matching color patterns of tabby, ginger, black and white or tabby and white," says Dr Barbara Maas, CWI's Chief Executive.

To protest China's alleged inhumane methods for fur industry animals, members of the Anti-Fur Society of Washington, D.C. on February 13 carried a symbolic casket across the Taft Memorial Bridge, followed by a funeral for the animal victims of the Chinese fur trade in front of the Chinese Embassy at 2300 Connecticut Ave. This demonstration at the Chinese Embassy was one of many that occurred on the same day in over 35 cities worldwide.

The documentary of the gruesome slaughter methods in the Shangcun Market made by the Swiss Animal Protection is often mentioned by the protesters as graphic proof of the barbarity of China's fur industry.

In Switzerland and several European countries, fur farming has been banned due to considerations for the humane treatment of animals. "In their lives and their unspeakable deaths, these animals have been denied the simplest acts of kindness," writes the investigator of the SAP report on conditions of the Chinese fur farms.

The World Fur Industry

Global fur sales in 2005 totaled to $12.8 billion, which was a 9.1% increase from 2004, according to the International Fur Trade Federation (IFTF). In 1999, sales were only 8.2 billion and have been rising steadily every year for the last six years.

To get some idea of China's relative place in the industry, in world trade mink production, China takes up 22.4% of the total, which places it behind first place Denmark with 30.3% of the mink production in 2005. Sandy Parker estimates 10 million mink pelts produced in China in 2006, up 25% from 2005. Also, China has become the world's leading exporter of fox and raccoon dog pelts, according to the Sandy Parker Report.

National Canine Cancer Foundation


Anna the GSD said...

That's horrible! I mean, my coat is all shiney but it's MY COAT! Those poor critters! Mom isn't a big fan of China and their human or animal rights or lack thereof... boo on China!

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

i signed the petition but i can not read the rest of your post--i use to read about that stuff but it caused me severe depression. it doesn't mean i do not know it is going on , and it does not mean i can not help. it just does me no good to see it. it takes me down and out for the day, and what good am i to anyone then

Anonymous said...

OMG I didn't realize this was going on. Def signed petition. I don't buy things from China if I can get an alternative made in the US. Horrible!!!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

What?????? This is appalling!

Canine Crusader said...

I signed the petition to stop skinning dogs alive in China, will sign this as well. I couldn't read the entire post because it brings back memories that hurt my heart. My friend has written many articles on the Chinese Fur Trade. I started to watch the movie trailer to EARTHLINGS (warning graphic). I scrolled down because I couldn't take it, sitting in my chair crying my eyes out, just listening instead. When the video was over (I thought) I scrolled back up and saw a dog being skinned alive. I have a knot in my throat writing about it. That horrific image will not leave me. I will never forget the look of that dog the rest of my life. The only way to stop this crime against animals is to stop buying items from China.

C.l.o.v.e.r. said...

OMD this is awful. It makes me sad and angry to read about this stuff - I am going to sign the petition right away. I feel sick that fellow Canadians are allowing this to happen. :(

Samantha said...

OMD - that is pawsitively horrid info. I've got to come back and read it carefully as I have to go to work, but scanned and am mortified. Will be back to sign.
Hugs xo
Sammie and family

Salinger The Pug said...

Ugh...this is terrible! Thank you for sharing it with us and making us all aware!

Mom is pretty sure that the "faux fur" industry would do just fine if they just stuck to gathering up shedded hair from Pugs like me! Mom says it's amazing that I'm not BALD!


Martha Basset said...

This is just so shocking - we feel upset reading it!
We will certainly join with you in signing this petition. xx

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

This is just awful!! We'll go over and sigh the petition.

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Java

Ludo van Doggy said...

I cannot let Mum watch it. I thinks that gonna be the same video she has seed before on a rabbit welfare forum and the look in the dogs eyes still will not leave her. Thanks for spreading the message. It is so tragic to think of those poor dogs when we is so fortunate here.
~lickies, Ludo

Ruby and Penny said...

We signed. We feel embarrassed to be Canadian right now.
Love Ruby & Penny

Euri said...

Mommy wrote about how the Chinese are beating dogs to death to cure overpopulation - haven't they ever heard of spaying and neutering? They're not very nice people and definitely not animal-friendly. We'll be signing the petition today. Thanks for telling everyone about this.

Noah the Airedale said...

The things that go on in this world are truly horrific and it's all because of stupid humans. We will sign the petition for sure.

Noah Willow Tess & Lucy

chicamom85 said...

That makes me sick to my stomach. Thank you for pointing that out, I am going to share this info also to spread the word. I will sign of course.

Anne and Sasha

Lacy said...

w00fs, i am gonna sign this again, seems like they wont get the message we trying to send..i have seen the video and CAN NOT watch it has to b stopped...

b safe,
~rocky and mama~

Alex93andme said...

I signed the petition this morning and got so upset thinking about what they are doing, I had to take my dog for a very long walk. The thought of anyone doing something that horrible to an animal makes me so totally sick. I hope and pray somebody stops this horrific act.

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

That is just terrible...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Oskar said...

Oskar's mom person here. I'm crying so hard I can't see well to type. The pictures and mental images are so horrific we can't even imagine.

Thank you for letting us know about this issue. We are off to sign the petition now.

Mochi and Mommy said...

OMD, this is awful! I can't watch the video. :(

Mochi & Mommy

Sam said...

I never knew that people actually used dog and cat fur - that is disgusting. Will sign the petition. Ugh.

The OP Pack said...

That is just sick. We will have no trouble signing this petition.

Woos, the OP Pack

Farley's Mom said...

OMD - I had no idea this even went on!! I'm sick :(

Halloween Spooktacular! said...

hi guys!

The sponsoring just means- these particular people have decided that if you win that category, you win a prize- sponsored by that person.

You enter here on this blog. :)

Benny and Lily said...

Benny & Lily

Teddy Bear said...

Oh the terrible things that humans do.

Teddy Bear

Bijou said...

Mom read about this horrible fur trade when those little toy dogs and cats were being sold everywhere. We can not bare to see the video but you can be sure mom is signing the petition. We boycott all products that has fur of any kind attached to it.

We don't understand how those hoomans can be so heartless to not see the pain and suffering they are causing, specially when it is right in front of them and we can clearly see it from afar.

Bijou, Banjo and Mom

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

One day...
One day...

Tank woo fur sharing...


Tanuki Maxx said... inhumane!

Thank you for sharing it with us!


Linda said...

This is a most disgusting trade ever and should be banned, the fashion industry is to blame as well. Poor Mum saw a video of a man in russia chaining a beautiful alsation to rails and starting to skin him alive, she is emoitionally scarred by this, and so should everyone else. Those pooor animals. keep up the good work, most people don't know and if they do they will not buy the products. Linda & Poppy &.. Prince (our newest Pup)

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

oh yes! i absolutely agree with you that the public has to know these things. you guys have one of the best blogs out there for animal awareness

Sam said...

How terrible! It's hard to imagine that sort of thing goes on today!


An English Shepherd said...

How very horrible :-( They should ban it as you say.

Wizz :-(