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18 June 2007

Fur ban useless without Government commitment state John Barrett and Scottish SPCA

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, and the Scottish SPCA today joined forces to welcome a breakthrough in the campaign to ban the import of cat and dog fur but warned that any new laws would be toothless without a commitment by Government to enforce any ban.

The ban will be voted upon today by the European Parliament. The ban will make it illegal to sell within the EU any products made from cat or dog fur.

It is expected that the ban will come into force in 2008.

Mr Barrett and the Scottish SPCA have campaigned together for a ban on the import and export of cat and dog fur products into the UK since 2003.

John Barrett, Honorary Vice President of the Scottish SPCA said:

"This is a historic turning point in the fight to ban this inhumane trade. Today’s vote by members of the European Parliament will set into motion an EU-wide commitment to ban the import of dog and cat fur products to all EU countries.

“I have lost count of the number of my constituents who have contacted me supporting the campaign for a total ban. Today’s vote will send a clear message that there will no longer be any excuse for inaction.

“While we are delighted about this key vote, in many respects the hard work has only just begun. The effectiveness of these laws will stand or fall based on how effectively they are implemented by the Government.

“Warm words on this issue will not be enough. Without effective action from Ministers including border checks and DNA tests then it is likely that imports will continue.”

Natalie Smart, Parliamentary Officer for Scottish SPCA said: “We are absolutely delighted that the European Parliament is looking to support a ban on this barbaric product. The Scottish SPCA has long campaigned for a UK-wide ban on dog and cat fur, and looks forward to the result from today’s vote from Strasbourg.

“Dogs and cats are raised in terrible conditions, usually in China, and then brutally killed by strangulation or stabbing solely for their furs and skins. There is absolutely no need for dog and cat fur to enter the EU, and consumers are often unaware of its existence. We have consistently argued that a ban is the best way to rid ourselves of dog and cat fur.

“It is now imperative that the UK fully implements this ban. Without proper policing, dog and cat fur products will still find their ways onto UK shelves. This cruel trade must end for good.”

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.