Skip to comments.McCartney attacks China over fur
Posted on 11/28/2005 11:40:43 AM PST by bloggodocio
Sir Paul McCartney has vowed never to perform in China after seeing horrific undercover footage of dogs and cats being killed for their fur.
The former Beatle also said he would boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics after viewing the footage taken in a fur market in Guangzhou, southern China.
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.
In 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.
They are then killed and skinned for their fur.
Animal welfare group Peta believes many of them are still alive as their skins are peeled away.
Sir 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.
"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. This is just disgusting. It's just against every rule of humanity. I couldn't go there."
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.
They are boiled to death and skinned by a fleecing machine similar to a launderette tumble drier.
Some of the 28-minute footage is too gruesome to be broadcast.
Campaigners 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?"
Heather 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."
A 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. Most of this fur is not for the Chinese market. 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.
But 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 2000.
"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.
The 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.
"We 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."
But pro-fur campaigner Richard D North says a European ban is heavy handed.
"This 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?"
Euro 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.
"It 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 sympathetic."
Markos Kyprianou, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, is responsible for this area of EU law.
His 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."
Anybody taking bets on which way they'll go?
What about not performing in China because it's...... well...... CHINA!
My thoughts exactly.
Sir Paul seems to have too much time on his hands.
Get a better grip.
I really hate to side with PETA on something, but that is just disgusting. I'm not opposed to skinning animals, but let's keep it humane.
I do love how China tries to pawn it off on American and Europe:
"A Chinese official said boycotts were not justified, and blamed US and European consumers for buying the fur. "
Dang! He forgot to blame to Jews too! Oh well, maybe next time...
I was kinda thinking the same thing while I read the article.
What a lighweight schlock artist he is!
Sir Paul wouldnt dream of going to a country that has paratheid. Maybe he should go over and see what happens when apartheid ends and the stealing of white farmers property begins.I am sure he would rather see starvation than apartheid.
I was thinking the same thing. Nice to know that dogs and cats rank higher on his radar than baby girls.
he's also active banning landmines. but if more Chinese stepped on landmines, they wouldn't be wearing fur.
I want a horse. I want a sheep.
I want to get me a good night's sleep.
Living in a home
In the heart of the country.
I'm gonna move. I'm gonna go.
I'm gonna tell everyone I know.
Living in a home
In the heart of the country.
Heart of the country --
Where the holy people grow.
Heart of the country --
Smell the grass in the meadow.
Wo wo wo . . .
Yet he performed in Moscow. Has he not seen all those fur hats the Russian men where? Or the beautiful fur coats worn by the Russian women, in a far greater percentage than they do here in the U.S.
Shut up and sing Paul, shut up and sing.
Gee, Paul, I'll bet THAT'S going to stop them! Why don't you throw in "destroy you nuclear weapons", too. I bet they'll do it.
Another bothersome thing about this story is that dogs and cats are eaten as food in southern China. In fact northern Vietnam was having a big problem with field rats a couple years ago because all the local cats were being stolen and shipped across the border to China.
So are they stripped of fur before going to the supermarket?
Many oddities here.
I'd wear it, if I was inclined to wear fur...
That coat must be pre-PETA, because it sure looks like sheepskin from here.
So long as it's not Schezuan puppy dog.
If you think eatign dogs and cats is wierd, try taking a stroll through one of Taipei's huge night-markets and see what you can tickle your tongue with.
Chicken feet on a stick, anyone?
Wear it as what?
I think it's fascinating that Heather and Paul are scandalized by the treatment of animals in China (which, I agree, is abhorrent) but don't seem to be bothered by the human rights abuses occuring on a daily basis over there!
That's the problem with PETA types. More concern for animals than people. I think there is room for concern for both!
I think that was around 1970-71 or so.
I also agree..... North Korea is even worse.....
Dog and cat fur
Fur from pet animals
In late 1998, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) proved that at least 2 million dogs and cats were being slaughtered for their fur annually. These animals are mainly being killed in China, but the slaughter of cats and dogs also occurs in other Asian countries. At that time, most of this fur was being exported to North America and Europe. The HSUS were able to show that cat and dog fur products were being sold in several American clothes shops or department stores. Their findings led to great public and political outrage, which ultimately resulted in a legal ban on the trade of dog and cat fur in the United States.
Ban on dog and cat fur in the US
Since November 1999, the sale, production and/or importation of clothing, toys or any other product made from dog or cat fur is a criminal offence in the United States. This legislation is the result of the HSUS's successful campaign. However, the downside is that as a result of the US ban, more dog and cat fur will be exported to Europe. This is yet another good reason to not buy any items made from real fur.
Gruesome fur scandal in Asia and Europe
A shocking report was broadcast on German television at the end of 1998. German reporter Manfred Karremann showed how thousands of dogs and cats in China, Thailand and the Philippines were falling victim to the fur industry every single day. The animals are caught on the streets, or are specially bred for the purpose under the most appalling circumstances. They are slaughtered in a horrific fashion, being beaten or stabbed to death or killed by strangulation. Frequently these animals are also skinned alive. The fur obtained from these animals is then traded across the globe, including Europe.
Where is dog and cat fur sold?
Karremann's report showed several fur traders who admit, without any shame whatsoever, that they export dog and cat fur to several countries of Europe, including the Netherlands. Dog and cat fur has been found in coats, fur-trimmed collars, hats, (cat) toys, and blankets. The animal origins of this fur difficult to identify. This is logical because consumers would probably never buy any of these products if they were aware that they were made out of dog or cat fur. To make it even more impossible to differentiate, the animal origins of this fur are concealed by fake names, such as Gae-wolf, wolf, or Asian and Chinese Wild Dog. The origins of these products are quite clearly of no interest to the fur industry.
Dog and cat fur also on sale in Europe
The HSUS investigation also uncovered evidence of dog and cat fur being used and sold in Europe. European countries export fur products from across the world. Since dog and cat fur is relatively cheap, it is also used to cover small figurines or dolls with hair. Coats made of dog fur are available in Germany. Moreover, in Germany cat fur is also used in blankets that are supposed to have a healing effect on people suffering from rheumatism and other joint problems. For many years, Italy has imported dog fur and skins from China and other Asian countries for the production of lining and insoles for shoes and boots. France has also imported dog fur for the production of coats. These clothing items are mainly sold in the French Alps. The investigators also located some coats and trim made from dog fur in Spain and Great Britain.
DNA tests reveal dog fur on sale in the Netherlands
Dog fur has also been found on sale in the Netherlands. This is the result of DNA tests carried out by the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam on behalf of Bont voor Dieren in 2002. Tests on 93 suspect items, produced in the Far East, revealed that 5 products were made from dog fur. It was found in fur pom-poms, which were part of a jumper, decorative cat figurines with fur, a hair accessory and a cat toy. The shops from which these items had been purchased claimed that their suppliers had informed them that they were made from rabbit fur. This research proves that producers do not tell the truth about the fur that they sell. Rabbit fur is often used as a 'cover' for dog and cat fur. Bont voor Dieren believes that the use of fur whether from a dog or a rabbit is completely unacceptable, but consumers have a right to correct information about the origins of the products that they purchase.
Research shows toxicity of dog fur cat figurines
Laboratory research conducted in December 2003 on behalf of Bont voor Dieren has proved that there are high levels of chromium in toys made of dog fur. These cat figurines, which are produced in Asia, give off 3 to 5 times the recommended safe levels of chromium. A cat toy made of fur even gave off 6 times the level. Two of these articles were made from dog fur. The decorative cat figurines are often given to children as toys. Chromium is toxic when ingested orally, this can occur when an item is handled and the mouth is then touched. Direct contact can also lead to contamination, particularly by children.
Bont voor Dieren is taking action
Bont voor Dieren also wants to put an end to this trade in animal cruelty. In a letter to the Chinese, Thai and the Philippine Embassies, we urged them to exert their influence to get these barbaric slaughterhouses shut down and to institute a ban on the killing of dogs and cats for fur. Furthermore, we have also put pressure on the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture to realise a national ban on the import and trade in dog and cat fur and leather. Similarly, together with our Fur Free Alliance partners, we have also taken action on a European level by writing to both the Agricultural Commissioner and the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection to urge a complete EU ban on the import and trade in cat and dog fur.
Current state of affairs
As a result of pressure exerted by Bont voor Dieren, in 2005 the Minister of Agriculture has expressed willingness to consider a total national import and trade ban on cat and dog fur. First, however, he wishes to conduct his own investigation into the extent of this problem and has thus commissioned a trading standards investigation into suspect fur products from China.
On a European level, Markos Kyprianou, the current EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection has agreed to do everything in his power to institute a complete EU ban on these products of animal cruelty.
Having eaten various forms of offal in Asia, served the split duck head (brain makes you smart), locusts in Cambodia, durian and more durian, balut Vietnamese style, and - yes - chicken feet at the local Chinese restaurant just a couple weeks ago, I don't think there's a whole lot left that could really gross me out.
I came just seconds from doing the dog-on-rice meal in SE Asia until we saw the big platter of meat, complete with the dog's head mounted proudly in the middle.
"I really hate to side with PETA on something, but that is just disgusting. I'm not opposed to skinning animals, but let's keep it humane.
I do love how China tries to pawn it off on American and Europe: "
I so agree. China has so many atrocities along with human rights violations that the rest of the world possibly combined can't hold a handle to China's inhumane treatment. And our lovely(sarc) Hillary and Bill got into bed with these people. Well, Bill would slither into bed no matter who it was.
They are boiled to death and skinned by a fleecing machine similar to a launderette tumble drier.
This doesn't sound credible. The boiling process would loosen the hair from the pelts as well as weaken the pelts, and no machine like a "tumble dryer" could do a suitable job of skinning a cat unless all you really wanted was cat, not skin.
That's not fur. That's "plush", as in acrylics/polyester.
This is all part of what liberals call 'multiculturalism'.
Whatever happened to those two PETA employees who were caught throwing a couple dozen animal shelter dogs into a dumpster? After they'd evidently killed them.
IIRC, it was in Virginia?
Something along these lines, I guess...Might need a couple.
besides, dog is really better on spaghetti.
At least someone is willing to criticize China over something. I was beginning to think it was unacceptable to say a critical word about China.
"Chicken feet on a stick, anyone?"
You don't spend much time in the South do you? We can get chicken feet here at any grocery store.
Ditto that angkor...
I guess I'll have to go to Walmart, and find that dogskin cap... I'll want to be the first on my block, though my dogs will probably think the cap has a familliar smell...
Somoyeds?! That's really, really cruel!
I mean, why is it any more cruel to wear a dog than it is to wear a fox or mink?
Dognapping is a regular feature in SE Asian newspapers.
I've personally seen them at work with my own eyes: one guy drives the motorcycle, and the guy behind him grabs the dog. They swoop in behind the dog and grab it in such a manner that the "napper" doesn't get bitten. But the one time I saw it, it was in front of a crowded cafe, and the dog made *a lot* of noise.
Last I recall, they were paid $5 to $8 per dog, which is then sold in the restaurant for $20. That's a very large sum for a meal in SE Asia.
By the way, this is a Chinese thing, and Hanoi. Not real popular outside those groups.
Ugh - i don't think the descriptions here are anything I'd like to share with dog lovers.
It's a "guy thing". The meat is supposed to be spicy, and there's some drinking connected with it.
This thread is not for the squeamish. It's a cultural investigation.
This was distributed directly to kids by the PETA. You can even watch a video of it on their site.
Why? Well, because Samoyeds are great dogs; friendly, strong, brave, perserverent, good with children, loyal. Great companions. Why would I want them killed for their fur when you can make similar stuff in a factory??
Instead, How bout we take ten of your best human friends and skin them for their hair, to make wigs out of (fake wigs are no fun) ? Only we won't kill them, since that would be mean.