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 user 2005-11-28 at 10:56:00 am Views: 170
  • #12996

    Animal anger  
     McCartney attacks China over fur
    Paul McCartney has vowed never to perform in China after seeing
    horrific undercover footage of dogs and cats being killed for their fur.

    former Beatle also said he would boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    after viewing the footage taken in a fur market in Guangzhou, southern

    The film shows animals being thrown from a bus, and into boiling water.
    A Chinese official said boycotts were not justified, and blamed US and European consumers for buying the fur.
    the film, dogs and cats packed by the dozen into wire cages little
    bigger than lobster pots are pictured being thrown from the top deck of
    a converted bus onto concrete pavements.
    The screaming animals, many
    with their paws now smashed from the fall, are then lifted out with
    long metal tongs and thrown over a seven foot fence.
    Some are senselessly beaten by laughing and smiling workers.
    All are then killed and skinned for their fur – many are believed still to be alive as their skins are peeled away.
    I wouldn’t even dream of going over there to play in the same way I wouldn’t go to a country that supported apartheid
    Sir Paul McCartney
    Paul, and his wife Heather, looked aghast and close to tears as they
    watched the footage for a special report for the BBC’s Six O’clock News
    to be screened on Monday.
    They urged people not to buy Chinese goods.
    “This is barbaric. Horrific,” said Sir Paul.
    “It’s like something out of the dark ages. And they seem to get a kick out it. They’re just sick, sick people.
    wouldn’t even dream of going over there to play, in the same way I
    wouldn’t go to a country that supported apartheid. This is just
    disgusting. It’s just against every rule of humanity. I couldn’t go
    In another piece of the harrowing footage, shot this summer
    by an undercover investigator connected to the People for the Ethical
    treatment of Animals (Peta) campaign group, cats are seen squirming
    inside a sack which is then thrown into a vat of steaming water.
    Olympic host
    They are boiled to death and skinned by a fleecing machine similar to a launderette tumble drier.
    estimate that over two million dogs and cats are killed for their fur
    in China every year. China also farms animals such as mink for their
    fur and makes over half of the world’s fur products.
    McCartney added: “How can the host nation of the Olympics be seen allowing animals to be treated in this terrible way?”
    McCartney, herself a vociferous animal rights campaigner added: “I’ve
    seen so much footage where these poor creatures are clearly alive when
    they’re skinned. And for what? For fashion? It’s sick.
    “People in every other country in the world should now boycott Chinese goods.”
    “If they want to consider themselves a civilized nation,” said Sir Paul, “they’re going to have to stop this.”
    spokesman for the Chinese Ambassador in London told the BBC: “Though
    cats and dogs are not endangered, we do not encourage the ill treatment
    of cats and dogs.
    “But, anyway, the fur trade mostly feeds markets
    in the US and Europe. This fur is not consumed in China. So the
    Americans and Europeans should accept the blame.
    “We have no plans
    to clamp down on this internally that I am aware of – it is for the US
    and Europeans to take their own action. They should boycott fur as a
    fashion material.
    “I do not agree with Mr McCartney and his wife’s
    point of view – a boycott of Chinese goods and the Olympics is simply
    not justifiable.”
    It is not currently illegal to trade in dog and cat fur in the UK and most of Europe.
    Ethical abhorrence
    the UK government sees any legislation as being a European issue – as
    once the fur enters Europe from China, free trade and the difficulty of
    identifying the fur makes it almost impossible to police.
    A DTI
    spokesman told the BBC: “The government shares the ethical abhorrence
    felt by many. That is why it banned by statute fur farming in the UK in
    “Action is best taken at the EU level as a harmonised approach
    throughout the EU would have greater impact and avoid obstacles to the
    operation of the single market.”
    There is little evidence, as yet,
    of the fur products being sold in the UK. Campaigners insist they are
    available up and down the country, but it is impossible to tell the
    difference from other fur without the aid of expensive genetic tests.
    British Fur Trade Association, which represents the booming fur
    industry in the UK, insists that its members do not knowingly use dog
    and cat fur and have introduced a fur labelling system to try to guard
    against its use.
    “As an industry, we are against any form of animal cruelty,” said a spokeswoman.
    deplore and work against the mistreatment of animals. For this reason,
    we also actively support and encourage the adoption of Western fur
    farming practices on Chinese fur farms.”
    Ruse accusation
    But pro-fur campaigner Richard D North says a European ban is heavy handed.
    is a ruse by campaigners to attack the legitimate fur trade. Nobody has
    ever found a large amount of cat and dog fur in the UK.
    “The European fur industry would never use it. Why bother, when there are lovely skins from properly farmed animals?”
    MP Struan Stevenson has an array of cat and dog products in his
    Brussels office – including a coat made from Alsatian skin, a pelt made
    from four golden retrievers and a blanket made from around 70 cats. All
    were bought in Europe.
    “It’s cheaper to make these things from cat and dog than it is to make synthetic fur,” he told the BBC.
    really is time for this trade to be banned and the EU border to be
    sealed against it. And the new trade commissioner is more than
    Markos Kyprianou, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, is responsible for this area of EU law.
    spokesman, Phillip Todd, told the BBC: “As a human being, the
    commissioner abhors this trade and is very supportive of there being a
    ban. There are, however, legal obstacles which would need to be
    addressed before a ban could be put in place.