Don’t believe anti-fur rhetoric |

Don’t believe anti-fur rhetoric

Keith Kaplan

Dear Editor:In response to PETA’s letter of Feb. 11, I must point out that once again the public is being misled by the inaccuracies and lies of the animal rights movement. The facts opposing their claims are clear.First, in fur, like in most other apparel produced in China, the fabric or raw product is imported into China where the garments are manufactured then re-exported. Very little, if any, fur used in these garments comes from China. In fact consumers in the United States are guaranteed of this as a result of the Fur Products Labeling Law, in effect in the U.S. since 1952, which requires that every fur garment carry a label clearly specifying the type of fur used and the country of origin of that fur.Second, allegations that dog and cat fur is coming into the United States are also absolutely untrue. Not only does the Fur Products Labeling Law ensure against this, but President Clinton passed “The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000” with the help of the fur industry to make trading in dog and cat fur in the United States illegal.Contrary to constant PETA rhetoric, strict regulations covering fur farming and trapping exist in both North America and European countries. No endangered species are used and CITES (Council on International Trade and Endangered Species) regulations are strictly adhered to. In the United States, fur farms are regulated by state departments of agriculture. Fur farms follow guidelines for care and management of animals set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association. State Departments of Agriculture monitor fur farms and inspectors visit farms to assure adherence to guidelines. European farms are covered by EU Directive 98/58 on the welfare of farm animals and Directive 93/119 covering permitted methods of euthanasia for fur animals. European fur farmers follow the Recommendation on the keeping of fur animals adopted by the Council of Europe and last revised in 1999. The Recommendation provides detailed guidelines for the care and management of animals, including (but not limited to) housing, ventilation, lighting, temperature control, feeding and health management.As your paper noted in the Feb. 5 issue, the fur industry has enjoyed a long period of sustained growth as the fashion world has embraced fur. Innovations in manufacturing and technology coupled with the unique luxury and tactile benefits of fur have made fur the fabric of choice in more than 400 designer collections. U.S. sales now stand at $1.81 billion dollars, up from $1.1 billion a decade ago. American consumers have made their choice.Keith KaplanExecutive DirectorFur Information Council of America