Senate bill bans dog and cat fur imports

Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Imports of products made from dog and cat fur would be banned under legislation that passed the Senate Friday.

The ban, authored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Roth, R-Del., comes two years after the Burlington Coat Factory pulled coats with dog-fur trim from its stores, including one in Anchorage.

The fur measure, part of a larger trade bill, also requires the labeling of all fur products regardless of price. The bill must go back to the House for approval before being sent to the president for his signature.

The Humane Society of the United States in the past has protested what it said was an extensive international trade in pelts of domesticated dogs.

In 1998, the Burlington Coat Factory, the nation's largest coat retailer, recalled hundreds of men's parkas nationwide after learning that the coats included fur from dogs in China. The Anchorage outlet had sold all but two of a dozen shipped to the store when the corporate office in Burlington, N.J., recalled the down jackets.

At the time, Burlington officials said the company was duped by an Asian vendor who passed the fur off as coyote. They said they were unaware of their lineage until the Humane Society alerted them.

The society uncovered the dog fur while investigating what it called an extensive international trade in pelts of domesticated dogs and cats.

The Washington-based organization contended that millions of animals in China and other countries were being raised under brutal conditions and butchered for their fur. The group said investigators posing as U.S. fur importers found that dogs and cats in Asia were hung, bludgeoned, clubbed or bled to death.

According to the society, a dozen dogs and two dozen cats are killed for a single fur coat. The group said the fur has ended up in the United States in various products, including gloves, scarves, trinkets and trim on parkas.

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