Posted by: bklunk | November 20, 2006

I Didn’t Know This Was A Big Problem

Newsvine – EU Proposes to Ban Sale of Some Furs

The European Commission has proposed that the Union ban the import of dog and cat fur. 

“Just the idea of young children playing with toys which have been made
with dog and cat fur is something we cannot accept,” said Markos
Kyprianou, the body’s consumer protection commissioner. “In Europe, as
you know, cats and dogs are considered companion animals and nothing
else.”

China will have to find another way to implement its new one-dog policy.

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Responses

  1. As much as I don’t like how dogs and cats are being treated abroad, it does not seem to me to warrant much of our attention. Our culture is unreasonably sentimental. We watch the evening news without batting an eye at gang murders in Minneapolis but recoil when we hear about somebody beating their dog. Sure, the treatment of dogs and cats and their use in clothing warrants some response from the European Commission, but when Iraq is erupting in sectarian violence, when genocide is taking place in Darfur, and when there our countless societal ills that directly effect human beings, it seems to me that we should place such concerns in context.

  2. The best possible solution to this problem is to clearly label these products that are being sold in the EU as being made from cat, or dog fur. If the consumer were to understand that the stuffed animal he or she was buying were made from a dog, or cat they would be able to make the conscious decision not to buy the product, and the product would have no market in Europe anyways.

  3. I do think that this is a big problem. yes there may be greater problems in the world but it is NOT ok to kill and sell these companion animals for their fur and let children play with them. I find it disgusting! I am glad that the EU is trying to ban these items. THEY SHOULD! China should know that they cannot profit from killing and selling animals that we consider to be our friends. This is no small issue and I hope that the EU continues to fight this!

  4. I tend to agree with the rest of the comments. I don’t think this is right in selling these toys that are made with fur from dogs and cats. The EU will most likely ban these items. I don’t think this subject deserves much attention for a variety of reasons. Banning different items in the EU will take time, but i’m sure within time these toys will be banded. I don’t think this is anything to get overly concerend about, but it is interesting to here.

  5. To build on what Jim said, I do think Americans have a warped view of what they deem important. He mentioned all the violence in Iraq as most of our news media does and rightfully so. However, the torture chambers, rape rooms, and mass graves that happened under Saddam are rarely if ever mentioned. They are not in existance with after the U.S. intervention and Saddam has been sentanced to death. These facts seem to bear little if any relevance to most people only concerned with the death toll. I think Iraq needs solutions because it is a mess there but we must remember the good things that have come from removing Saddam from power and trying to establish a democratic government in a region where that is rare.

  6. I think it seems to be a cultural bias to attack the use of dog and cat fur in products. India would find our treatment of cattle equally abhorrent and I highly doubt the US would look kindly upon India banning all leather and beef products into India. To be brutally honest there is nothing inherently and obscenely wrong with using cat and dog fur for merchandising. Why do these animals deserve any better treatment than foxes, beavers, or any other furbearing animal? The simple fact of the matter is that Americans (and apparently Europeans) are overly sentimental about their pets and are letting that bias cloud their judgment about international policies. If there is a market for it, let the people choose.

  7. If those in Russia and China want to purchase dog and cat fur, that’s their prerogative. However, I find it horrifying that dog or cat fur could line the cuffs of my gloves and I would never know. That is an unfair practice that must be stopped. Domestic animal fur is not something the American population wants, nor the European so I do not believe it is so outrageous that they are demanding it not to be sold in their countries.

  8. I presonally dont see how the killing of companon animals such as cats and dogs for the use of their fur should be any different than the killing of non companion animals. An animal is a living thing reguardless if we have domesticated it to be our pet or not. The only way to end this controversy would be to not use real fur at all and just use fabricated fur for the use of childrens toys, but this probably will not happen in the near future (seeing as peta had been working on this for quite some time as it is). If lableing of fur were madatory in the EU as labeling is mandatory in many other industries (agriculture in particular)this controversy could be easliy averted, if you dont want cat fur prodicts, dont buy them, purchase another product.

  9. I really don’t think that this is as big of an issue as is being portrayed in this article. Yes cats and dogs should be treated humanly, but the EU was far bigger problems to worry about then to try to ban the sale of products that have cat & dog fur in them. More importantly the article also stated that the EU and its members have all ready had a voluntary ban on dog and cat fur in place since 2002 and the European fur trade has not traded in cat and dog fur”. So they are spending time and resources that they don’t even have to. Also if people are worried about cat & dog fur being in the products that they buy they should be more conscious about what they choose to buy.

  10. Just as the title of this blog said, I certainly didn’t know this was such a big problem. Of course the trade and use of cat and dog fur disgusts me; that’s because I’m use to thinking of them as companion animals and also, I have two dogs of my own. I agree with A Lance in that the EU probably could have spent its time differently, however, at least now there is a ban in place so that consumers are able to know what they’re buying and be able to trust that it’s not cat/dog fur. Just like A Lance said though (and I argree), if people are worried about cat and dog fur being in the products that they buy, they should be more conscious about what they choose to buy; maybe if that had happened, this problem could have been avoided.

  11. I have to agree with Steve that this is really a cultural bias in a way. Although I personally think it sounds really terrible and sad I know that’s because I’m from the U.S. and we view dogs and cats as our companions. I guess if this is a huge issue to a lot of countries in the EU (in a way that it is horrifying to many people) then the best answer would be to label the products so people know what not to buy. Completely banning the products may be considered unfair to those countries who use it as a source of income. Again, this does seem utterly bizarre to me, but like Steve said maybe Indians look at our treatment of cows with much of the same feelings…

  12. I agree with the people that have said it to be a cultural thing. If dogs and cats weren’t our best friend would we still care? I like Steve’s point of comparing this to our treatment of cows in India’s eyes. But the other side of the coin is that we are not skinning the cows alive. I have nothing wrong with them using dog or cat. It’s the matter in which they kill them to get to that fur. Strangling them with a wire in a cage is not what I would consider a humane death. I suppose those that deal with cows aren’t really killing the cow in a humane way either, but it’s something or society has accepted. We don’t want to use their fur, but in most Asian cultures they eat dog, which our society also frowns upon. So although it’s said to think that, that kind of stuff happens around the world, it does. It happens right here as well, but the average person doesn’t really think about it. It all depends on the society you grow up in and its culture.

  13. Im wondering what the WTO reaction will be if the EU decides to go through with the ban. Dolphin Safe Tuna and hormone beef would be two issues I would point too to say that the WTO would probably not allow it. In both cases, the WTO ruled that free trade had to be valued over the moral issues. Any thoughts?

  14. I agree with Brian that it doesn’t sound like the WTO would allow this ban to occur with its overruling in dolphin safe tuna and with hormones in beef. This appears to be a culturally sensitive moral issue that here in the US we are partial to. We see furs from our companion animals as a very upsetting idea, but these animals are not companion animals in all countries and because of this the EU should not be able to enact this ban. I agree with the other responses that clear labels of the products is the way to go.

  15. This summer, I took a Media Writing class and as I was reading an assignment about the treatment of animals abroad, I came upon an article in the New York Times about mass killings of dogs in Shanghai, China. Government officials were taking dogs and hanging them and shooting them, among other things. The claim was that it was for health purposes. There are places outside the US where dog is food. This issue is sensitive to Americans and Europeans because we treat dogs and cats as pets and not as food or just part of the animal kingdom. In France, rabbit is food to the French. Should we, as well as the EU, consider this to be banned too since we have bunny rabbits as pets? This should be reconsidered because we’re talking about different cultures interacting and trading. If you don’t want it, don’t trade with it. There are other things children’s toys can be made with.


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