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10 January 2006

Barrett renews calls for dog and cat fur ban

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today renewed his call on the Government to ban the import of dog and cat fur into the UK.

Mr Barrett made the call following a Westminster debate on the new Animal Welfare Bill. The Bill is the most significant change in animal welfare legislation for nearly a century and will address all forms of animal cruelty. The Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill is currently passing through the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking following the debate, John Barrett said:

“I warmly welcome this Bill and I am pleased that the government is taking the issue of animal welfare seriously. However it is time for the government to broaden its horizons and send a message that cruelty to animals is unacceptable wherever it may occur.

“For this reason, a ban on the import of dog and cat fur into this country is now long overdue. This trade is brutal, inhumane, and continues to subject animals to immense levels of suffering and pain.

“Animals do not recognise national boundaries, it is double standards to outlaw cruelty to animals in this country, while at the same time condone it elsewhere through our continuing failure to ban the import of dog and cat fur into this country.

“Ghandi once said that you could judge the moral progress of a nation by observing the way it treats its animals. It is time for the UK to send a clear message that we consider the mal-treatment of animals to be utterly unacceptable wherever it may occur.

“The US has banned it, Australia has banned it and so have Denmark, France, Italy, Belgium and Greece – what is stopping us? Rest assured, I will continue to press the government until we secure a similar ban in this country.

Notes

· John Barrett, along with the Scottish SSPCA has been campaigning for a ban on the import of dog and cat fur into the UK since 2003. In January 2004 John presented a petition from people across Scotland calling for a ban on such imports. The petition received widespread support across the country.

· In December 2005 Mr Barrett re-launched the campaign following the uncovering of footage by animal rights group PETA showing the appalling treatment of dogs and cats raised for their fur in China.

· Mr Barrett has launched a parliamentary motion calling for the important of Cat and Dog fur to be banned. It has so far attracted 72 signatures and cross-party support.

EDM 962 IMPORT OF DOG AND CAT FUR

Barrett, John
That this House welcomes Switzerland’s ban on the importation of products made with dog and cat fur; expresses concern that the import of dog and cat fur remains legal in the UK with trade in dog and cat fur last year worth over £40 million in this country; notes with concern the position taken by the Department of Trade and Industry that in the absence of clear evidence of a trade in dog and cat fur in this country, a UK ban on the trade will not be considered; supports the work of all bodies and organisations, including the Scottish SPCA, pressing for a change in the law; and urges the Government to bring in a ban on the import, export and domestic trade in dog and cat fur and of products made with dog and cat fur as soon as possible.

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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.