“Be a voice for our animals and spread the word; there are many people unaware of this issue,” says local letter writer

I would like to bring an issue to the public’s attention. I feel it is of great importance to educate my community on the alarming cat and dog fur trade and horrific details surrounding it.

Dear Editor;

I would like to bring an issue to the public’s attention. I feel it is of great importance to educate my community on the alarming cat and dog fur trade and horrific details surrounding it.

Recent surveys show more than 53 per cent of Canadians own a cat or dog in their home. I myself am a pet owner. Many of us consider them to be members of the family. But how much do we really love our animals?

China is one of Canada’s largest commercial trade partners. Fur is one of many products imported into our country and has been popular in the fashion industry. Normally, when these products are labeled, they read mink, fox, rabbit, or faux fur (fake fur). But what if it read ‘cat’ or ‘dog’? Would you purchase or wear it? If the answer is no, then take another look at your belongings, for they may be just that.

In Asian countries, mainly China, approximately two million or more cats and dogs are killed every year for their fur. These animals are bred on fur farms. Others are strays -some even have collars around their necks, meaning they once belonged to someone and have been stolen for their fur. Viciously, these cats and dogs are crammed together in wire mesh cages. Some are shipped by truck, traveling days without food or water. They are thrown approximately 10 feet off of these trucks, injuring and shattering bones as they hit the ground. They are starved to weakness to make them easier to handle, bludgeoned, strangled with wire nooses, beaten, stabbed, bled to death, etc. The list goes on and on. Some of these animals are dead or dying from their injuries. The worst part is, many of them are skinned while still alive and fully conscious. Amazingly and yet horribly enough, some live for up to 10 minutes after they’ve been skinned.

The furs are then shipped and sold to countries around the world, including Canada. These Asian countries do not properly label their products and Canada has no legislation requiring animal fur to be labeled on any garments. Before being shipped, the fur is dyed to make it look like other animals, miss labeled, or not labeled at all. In other words, anything you buy that is fur or fake fur could possibly be your ordinary cat or dog. There is really no way to tell except for expensive DNA testing.

Will you now trust the label you are purchasing? Do you really know whose skin you’re wearing? I know we cannot stop this from happening, but we can make a stand to decrease the amount of brutal deaths. One thing we can do is by simply refusing to buy fur and fake fur products. We can write letters to our government, urging them to create a law that requires proper labeling on these products.

Be a voice for our animals and spread the word; there are many people unaware of this issue.

Tanya Larsen

Rimbey