One of the main suppliers of these is a Surrey-based company Nauticalia Ltd who sell cats that look as though they are sleeping. These are called Intrepid Ship’s Cats and are retailed at around £25 each. The company claims they are made from rabbit fur from animals killed in China.
Others, from other companies, are shaped as small cats and dogs in baskets, and sell at a few pounds. There are also a wider variety of animals standing at about 15cm high.
All of these ornaments claim to be made from rabbit fur, although investigations in the United States found a large number of similar ones to be made from the fur of domestic cats and dogs.
The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade opposes the use of all animal fur. We believe that the suffering and death of animals cannot be justified to supply such a trade.
Rabbit fur comes from two sources - rabbits raised specifically for their fur, and rabbits raised primarily for their meat. The conditions in which the animals are raised (usually factory farming where they are crammed into bare wire cages and denied the ability to perform natural behaviours such as jump, run or dig) are similar, as is their death. Death is usually by neck-breaking or the throat being slit. The rabbits will also suffer when being transported between farm and market and / or slaughter, and are often roughly handled.
In Britain it is illegal to breed animals solely or primarily for their fur. Therefore most fur, including some rabbit fur, sold in Britain is produced in a way that would be illegal in this country.
Some people may think that if the fur is a 'by-product' of the meat trade then its use is acceptable. But one must consider the suffering of the animals whatever the purpose of that suffering. We don't need toys made from real fur so how can the use of rabbit fur be justified? The use of real fur financially supports the ways in which the animals are raised and killed. It also promotes the general use of real fur - the fur trade kills 40 million animals a year worldwide, breeding them in barren cages where they go mad and mutilate themselves, or trapping them in vicious leg hold traps where many try to escape by gnawing off their own limbs. The use of rabbit fur for these toys is no different. By buying any real fur these are the acts that you are paying for.
With such an abundance of high quality synthetic materials there is no need to use real animal fur.
Some of the shops selling these toys, and many of the people buying them, do not even realise they are made from real fur until groups such as CAFT point it out to them.What you can do