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Greens: Stop Trade Based On Cruelty To Cats And Dogs

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Sue Kedgley
Sue Kedgley

16 March 2009 - Green MP Sue Kedgley has called on the Government to stop imports of cat and dog fur because of an inhumane international trade that includes skinning animals alive.

Ms Kedgley unveiled her Cruelty to Animals Bill in Auckland today at the launch of a campaign by animal welfare groups to ban cat and dog fur imports into New Zealand.

"The European Union, Australia, and the United States have all moved to prohibit imports of cat and dog fur. We need to do the same," Ms Kedgley said. "Otherwise we will become a dumping ground for this unethical trade, as markets are closed in other countries."

A lengthy Humane Society investigation has uncovered a substantial unregulated international trade in cat and dog fur, based in Asia. Each year, more than two million cats and dogs are raised in appalling conditions and brutally slaughtered for their pelts, Ms Kedgley said. The animals' fur is then used to make clothing, toys, and trinkets. Dog pelts are even made into chew toys for dogs.

The Government could easily help New Zealanders from unwittingly purchasing imported products made out of cats or dogs, Ms Kedgley said. Her Member's Bill would amend the Customs Act by adding cat and dog fur to the schedule of prohibited imports.

At present there is no way for consumers to be certain they are not buying products that contain cruelly harvested cat or dog fur. Most cat and dog fur is deliberately disguised and sold using false or incorrect labelling. An inexpensive DNA test is available so that customs officials could readily identify cat or dog fur at the border.

"Now that we know there is a cruel and illegal trade, New Zealand has a moral and ethical responsibility to make sure we aren't inadvertently participating in it," Ms Kedgley said. "We need to make it an offence to import these unethical products into New Zealand, just as other countries have done."

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