Senate Passes Legislation to Ban Dog and Cat Fur Trade
Washington, DC, October 13, 2001
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the country's largest animal protection organization with more than seven million supporters nationwide, commended the Senate today for approving strong legislation to ban the import, export and sale of dog and cat fur products in the United States.
The ban is contained in the Senate version of a trade package, H.R. 4868. In July, The House of Representatives unanimously approved its own version of H.R. 4868, with a ban on dog and cat fur products, which was guided through the House by Trade Subcommittee Chairman Philip Crane (R-IL). The dog and cat fur legislation, originally introduced last year by Sen. William V. Roth Jr. (R-DE) and in the House by Rep. Jerry Kleczka (D-WI), has garnered broad bipartisan support in Congress.
"By passing this legislation, the Senate sends a strong message to those involved in the dog and cat fur trade that the United States wants no part of this horrific, inhumane business that costs the lives of millions of companion animals each year," said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS senior vice president. "We thank Senator Roth for championing this cause and skillfully guiding the legislation to unanimous approval in the Senate."
Attention now turns to reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the trade package, including differences on the dog and cat fur provisions. The Senate bill authorizes stronger enforcement and penalties for those engaging in dog and cat fur trade. It also requires labeling of all fur products regardless of their price. Currently, products with fur valued at less than $150 do not have to be labeled. Dog and cat fur products, which sell at the low end of the market, are commonly mislabeled or sold without labels to disguise their species content so that American consumers and retailers will not realize what they are buying.
"We are very hopeful that the House will agree to accept the Senate's stronger language, to ensure that the ban is effective. We need the maximum tools available to put a stop to this gruesome trade," said Pacelle.
U.S. political leaders began taking action to ban cat and dog fur products after The Humane Society of the United States revealed results from a two-year investigation that exposed the international trade in products- clothes, accessories, figurines and novelty items- made from the fur and pelts of cats and dogs.
The investigation traced the products from their manufacturing sites, many in China and other parts of Asia, to prominent retailers in this country, including Burlington Coat Factory, Hallmark, and Ben Franklin stores, as well as airport and mall novelty shops.
The HSUS estimates conservatively that more than two million dogs and cats are slaughtered each year for their fur. Dog fur products are often marketed under misleading product names including gae-wolf, sobaki, Asian jackal; cat products are often sold as wildcat, goyangi, and ketzenfelle.
The animals are killed by hanging, beating, stabbing, bleeding to death, or drowning with gallons of water pumped down tubes in their throats, and they are often skinned while still alive. Before their deaths, these dogs and cats are kept in deplorable conditions without adequate heat, food or water, and are forced to witness close-up the violent killing of their fellow animals as they await their own turn to die.
"While a U.S. law won't eliminate the industry world-wide, it will keep American consumers from unwittingly participating in this cruel enterprise," Pacelle noted. "We also hope that Congress' action will set an example for countries in Europe and elsewhere to adopt similar prohibitions. With the loss of major markets for these products, the lives of millions of dogs and cats can be saved."
Source: PetAbuse, a magazine produced by wwideweb.com & Internet Press