Background: HSI

Humane Society International (HSI) is extremely disappointed that the Government has refused to take action on the illegal importation of dog fur into Australia, despite a statutory ban on this cruel product entering the country.

In 2004, as a direct result of an HSI campaign, the Australian Government passed amendments to Commonwealth import regulations, effectively banning the importation of any dog and cat fur products and ensuring voters that we would not buy in to this cruelty.

Subsequent to discovery in February this year of dog fur in a vest being sold by a major national retailer, investigations and independent scientific analyses of fur items being sold in other stores around Australia have also tested positive for dog fur despite being mislabelled as rabbit fur or even fake fur.

"HSI maintains that where an issue is important enough for Parliament to change legislation, it should also be important enough for that legislation to be effectively enforced, "  says HSI director, Verna Simpson.

Unfortunately, not all retailers took swift action once HSI notified them of the problem, and so HSI turned to the Commonwealth Government to enforce the legislation. In recent months HSI has written on a number of occasions alerting the Minister, Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to the findings of our dog fur importation investigation.

Further investigations by HSI have also revealed independent scientific results showing such fur products testing positive forhexavalent chromium, a toxic and carcinogenic chemical used in the leather tanning process that can cause severe health impacts for humans. Results exceeded recommended levels in leather goods by an incredible 133 to 733 times.

HSI is extremely disappointed at the slow response and apparent lack of action in having these items removed from sale, and wrote to the Federal Minister for Home Affairs, asking that he intervene.

"While we remain disappointed at the lack of action, a number of issues have been highlighted as a result of our talks with Government, especially with Customs and the ACCC," explains Ms Simpson. "HSI has been informed that once these fur items have made it past the border, Customs has little power to take further direct action. Further, upon requesting action from the ACCC, HSI has been notified that the matter was not of significant and widespread public detriment to warrant further action being taken!"

HSI's most recent dealing with Minister O'Connor has resulted in the Government washing it's hands of the matter, leaving extreme cruelty unchecked, and forcing HSI to reveal again the horrific footage from our Chinese undercover investigation,"  says HSI director, Verna Simpson

Please, urge the Australian Government to extend the import ban on dog and cat fur to include all fur products.

READ MORE: http://careforchineseanimals.net/

Please support us in writing to the Prime Minister, the Minister for Home Affairs, and the Minister for Health:

The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Prime Minister

PO Box 6022

Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

The Hon. Brendan O'Connor

Minister for Justice and Minister for Home Affairs

Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Email: Brendan.O’Connor.MP@aph.gov.au

The Hon Nicola Roxon MP

Minister for Health and Ageing

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600
Email: Nicola.Roxon.MP@aph.gov.au

Dear sir,

Recent investigations have shown that dog fur garments are still available in Australian retail stores despite a ban on importing dog and cat fur.

Currently, there are no penalties in China that would protect the millions of animals including chinchillas, foxes, minks, and raccoons who suffer and die on fur farms. The Chinese fur industry remains completely self-regulated, which means that animals are kept in crowded, filthy wire cages, where they often engage in neurotic behavior and become sick or wounded.

Before they are skinned alive, animals are pulled from their cages and thrown to the ground; workers bludgeon them with metal rods or slam them on hard surfaces, causing broken bones and convulsions but not always immediate death. Animals watch helplessly as workers make their way down the row.

This fur from China is often deliberately mislabeled as fur from other species and is exported to countries throughout the world to be sold to unsuspecting customers in retail stores.

I urge you to extend the current ban on the import of cat and dog fur to an import ban on all fur products to  Australia.


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