Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Belgium
Belgium Ban on Fur from Dogs and Cats

From: Rosa Mertens
December 05, 2006
No more ladies in dogs' coats in Europe.


On Thursday 16-11-2006 the Belgian Parliament set the green light for a ban on the production, import and trade of fur en fur-products from dogs and cats.

After 7 years of continuous fight for legal regulations we at last have a law in Belgium that restrains the trade of fur from dogs and cats.

I want to thank everybody, here in Belgium but also in other countries, who helped me to reach this result, because without your help we never could have celebrated this victory.

No more ladies in dogs’ coats in Europe.

Brussels, 20 November 2006 - This afternoon, Euro commissioner Kyprianou announced the long awaited decision to ban the import of and trade in dog and cat fur. At last Europe is about to take measures to stop this abominable trade.

Success at last for Dierenleed Azië, a small society of volunteers from the Dutch "Kempen", who have fought determinedly for this ban on dog and cat fur. Living proof of how conviction and determination can contribute to a better world.

Dierenleed Azië has been fighting for years to improve animal welfare in Asian countries. Contrary to Western countries, where dogs and cats are popular pets, in many Asian countries they are considered a source of food and income. In order to maintain this flourishing trade in dog and cat fur, animals are often brutally butchered. Dog and cat fur find their way to Europe and in Belgium many items made of dog and cat fur, such as toys, coats and blankets have been found. Since 1999 Dierenleed Azië has (almost literally) belled the cat through members of the European Parliament Stevensson and Maes.

In 2001 the first press showing took place in which Tanja Dexters, on behalf of Dierenleed Azië, brought up the terrible fate of animals in Asia.

In 2004 Dierenleed Azië won its first battle when in the European Parliament a majority was in favour of making a bill for a total ban on the import of dog and cat fur. It was a rather unconventional way of asking the European Committee to take initiative.

Many societies have given their support to Dierenleed Azië among which are Bite Back, Bont voor Dieren, APMA, De blauwe wereldketen and many others. With the aid of De blauwe wereldketen thousands of supporters collected no fewer than 93,000 autographs in Belgium. Our phone never stopped ringing.

In December 2003 the members of the European parliament held another press conference in Brussels, together with Dierenleed Azië and the nearly 10,000 autographs which could no longer be ignored by the general public.

Gilles De Bilde and Phaedra Hoste spoke and claimed to be deeply shocked by the cruelty of the trade in dog and cat fur. Daniel Desmet explained. Intensive lobbying by Dierenleed Azië resulted in support from all over the world: Heather Mills (Paul McCartney’s ex-wife) declared her support of our campaign.

Paul McCartney himself made an appeal to boycott Chinese products. The list of people supporting the campaign got longer and longer: Brian Adams, Pink, Lulu, Joanna Lumley and Stephen Barlow, Tony Bennett, George and Judy Martin, Sir Peter and Lady Blake, Robbie and Flo McIntosh, Steve Buscemi and Jo Andres, George Michael, Brian Clarke, Steve Miller, Phil Collins, Adrian and Celia Mitchell, Geoff Emerick, Eddie Murphy, Robin Gibb, Paul Newman, Dave Gilmore, Stella Parsons and friends, Eddy and Anne Grant, Elizabeth Quinn, Jools Holland, Nitin Sawhney, Chrissie Hynde, Victor Spinetti, Elton John, Sarah Starkey and friends, Carla Lane, Tracey Ullman, Twiggy and Leigh Lawson, Margo Wickens, Jeff Beck, Brian and Melinda Wilson,…

Dierenleed Azië persisted and has been organizing writing campaigns and online petitions to this day. On Heather Mills’ website alone 230,169 people have signed the petition!

Last week Dierenleed Azië went full speed ahead and sent 6400 letters to cooperating organisations and members from all over the world. Concluding from the received reactions one might say that the mailboxes of the European Parliament were filled up.

Dierenleed Azië is hopeful that all the animal rights organisations and their supporters, who have worked so hard all these years, entirely without pay and purely out of love for the animals, are now finally getting what they have been fighting for.

Dierenleed Azië is grateful to everyone who gave us the help we so desperately needed in Belgium to permanently ban dog and cat fur from Europe. And a special thank you to Struan Stevensson for never giving up.


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