Friday, January 11, 2008

Switzerland Cat Fur Trade

A petition has been launched by the Swiss association SOS Chat (a cat activist group) to ban the production and sale of cat fur products in Switzerland. The Petition is to bring Switzerland into line with the European Union where the production of cat furs will be outlawed in all member states this year. Currently, Switzerland bans the import of cat furs, but allows domestic production and sale.

According to the group’s co-founder, the ban is supported by Switzerland’s president and members of Parliament; opposition comes from hunters and farmers, who believe cat fur is a remedy for rheumatism, an old wives’ tale. "In September, October, November and December the hunters and the people who work for the tanners go out and shoot all the feral cats or all cats which are 200 meters away from homes," Tomek says.

This is a great step forward by the European Union and hopefully the SOS Chat’s petition will supply the added pressure needed for Switzerland to comply. So far the petition has acquired over 50,000 signatures, including those of Brigitte Bardot, Michael Schumacher and former Miss Switzerland Lauriane GilliĆ©ron. The European Union’s action could set a precedent for cat-friendly legislation and animal welfare laws in general.

Alley Cat Rescue is urging our members to either sign the petition or write letters supporting the ban to diplomatic representatives. The petition can be downloaded in English here from www.soschats.org.

Letters can be sent to:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Ambassador Alfred Defago
2900 Cathedral Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Ambassador J. Richard Fredericks
Jubilaeumstrasse 93, 3005 Bern Switzerland

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