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Issue Date:- 30 December 2008


AS shoppers make the most of the bargains available in the sales, is is good to know that they will no longer run the risk of unwittingly buying cat or dog fur thanks to an EU-wide ban on the production, marketing, import and export of cat and dog fur.  It is hoped that the ban will save the lives of up to 2 million cats and dogs each year in China, where the majority of the fur is sourced. It is estimated that 10 to 12 dogs are killed to produce one coat and up to 24 cats slaughtered to make a cat fur coat. This ban that has now come into effect is essential to prevent these grotesque and unnecessary fashion items from being sold.

This trade, according to the Dogs Trust, has previously been lucrative to furriers who place profits far above animal welfare. It is reported that many animals involved in this trade are strays which have been rounded up and others will be stolen pets. As well being seen by many in Europe as a barbarically cruel practice, it is hoped that it will also stop the inhumane conditions the animals are often kept in.

Although most shoppers would be repulsed by the thought of wearing cat or dog fur or supporting this trade, due to deceptive mislabelling practices many British shoppers may have unintentionally bought products containing or made of the fur. In the UK it has been found on clothing – mainly as fur trims on gloves, hats and coats, accessories such as handbags and even in some children’s soft toys.  Many other EU countries have long established bans on the trade of dog and cat fur, but until today it had been legal in the UK. This meant that fur traders banned from other countries, were transporting pelts to Britain before shipping them on.

Clarissa Baldwin, Dogs Trust Chief Executive, stated:- “We strongly welcome this ban. Everyone knows the story of 101 Dalmatians and Cruella De Vil’s attempts to steal Dalmatian puppies to produce a spotted fur coat; sadly this is not just a fictitious tale. The fur industry is responsible for the suffering and deaths of millions of dogs and cats in the name of fashion and profit. We are delighted that the exploitation of dogs and cats will no longer be tolerated and hope that the ban brings about the collapse of this despicable industry.”

If you want to know more about the Dogs Trust go to


MODEL Jo-Emma Larvin is urging animal lovers to make sure Christmas packs an even bigger punch this year for pets in need of vets.

The glamorous partner of world light heavyweight boxing champion Joe Calzaghe is calling for unwanted festive gifts to be given to the UK’s leading veterinary charity PDSA to help raise funds to provide free veterinary treatment.

Speaking as she made her own donation to one of the charity’s shops, Jo-Emma said:- “At this time of year, we all love to indulge our families and friends but we can also do our bit to help a good cause.

We often receive gifts we already have or don’t really need. So rather than leaving them to gather dust at the back of a wardrobe why not donate them to PDSA instead?

I’m happy to lend a hand and hope others do too. What’s more, PDSA shops are also a great place to pick up some wonderful bargains.”

PDSA spokesperson Caroline Garbett said the charity relied on the support from pet owners like Jo-Emma... “Our shops play a vital role in sustaining the work done in PDSA PetAid hospitals across the UK.

Not all of the Christmas presents we receive are appropriate yet they can still be incredibly useful.

I’d ask anyone who has unwanted gifts to take them along to their local PDSA shop where all presents are appreciated.”

PDSA reported a surge in the number of toiletry sets, slippers and socks it received last New Year, which didn’t hang around the shelves for long as customers snapped them up.

More extravagant donations have included Rolex watches, Tiffany jewellery and designer clothing and accessories.

People wishing to find their local PDSA shop should visit:-

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