Written by PETA
You might be surprised to learn about Switzerland's involvement in the cat-fur industry. Switzerland is the only country in Western Europe that still legally allows cats to be hunted for their fur. Swiss law even states that cats that wander 200 yards or more away from their homes can legally be killed—and their fur can be made into jackets, coats, and bed blankets.
It's really no coincidence that most people don't know about Switzerland's cat-fur trade. If you were to step inside a fur store in Switzerland and raise questions about cat fur, chances are the store would deny any involvement or pretend it does not know anything about the industry.
But undercover investigations conducted by television crews last year exposed Switzerland's cat-fur trade. And caught on film were the same tanners and furriers who, when questioned, denied any involvement. You can read the details here.
The footage caught on film from hidden cameras caused an uproar from Swiss citizens and animal rights groups. Longtime animal rights advocate Brigitte Bardot has thrown her support to the cause, and SOS Chats—Switzerland's pro-cat lobby—is now working to ban the cat-fur trade and cat hunting.
Ironically enough, Switzerland actually banned all cat-fur imports from other countries in 2006 because of concerns about the animals' treatment during slaughter—a move that is proving to be as useless as the cat- and dog-fur ban that the European Union will be adopting later this year.
It's a little hard to be neutral when you're contributing to this, Switzerland. Don't you think?
However, just so everyone is clear on this, there’s reason to believe that this may have been a stunt, and that some parts of this story (such as the starving of the dog) were actually fabricated for the sake of publicity. As this article in The Guardian notes,
“Juanita Bermúdez, director of the Códice Gallery, insisted [the dog] escaped after just one day. She said: ‘It was untied all the time except for the three hours the exhibition lasted and it was fed regularly with dog food [Vargas] himself brought in.’”
Whatever the cruel or weird game that Vargas is playing, if it turns out that he took this animal in and allowed her to go back out on the streets to fend for herself, he still needs to be held accountable for extreme cruelty to animals—but for the time being, the information is pretty patchy.
We’re currently investigating the incident, and I’ll update this blog if we get more information. In the meantime, whether Vargas intended it or not, this whole thing does provide an insight into human nature that will be worth considering once we’re able to look at the big picture: If we can muster up this degree of outrage about one incident of animal suffering, why are we any less horrified by the billions upon billions of similar or worse cases of abuse that we can personally help to prevent?
Update: You can read PETA’s letter to the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) about this video here, and if you want to show your support for investigating and punishing those involved, you can do so here.
A lot of people have been writing in and commenting about a shocking video that has recently surfaced which shows a smiling marine throwing a live puppy off a cliff while his friend laughs. Witnessing this kind of sadism under any circumstances is incredibly disturbing, but there’s something particularly horrifying about seeing it perpetrated by members of the military, and our caseworkers are currently analyzing the video footage to determine its legitimacy, as well as pushing military authorities to follow through on their own thorough investigation of this reprehensible act.
From what I understand, the culprit is believed to be based in Hawaii, and we intend to ensure that he—and anyone else involved in this atrocity—is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if this video is determined to be authentic. I’ll keep you posted.
I love this:
“Police arrested a 28-year-old man Sunday on a cruelty to animals charge after he yelled an obscenity at a police dog in a patrol vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit. … Police say Rogers yelled an obscene statement in the window as he walked past a patrol vehicle that contained a patrol dog “causing (the dog’s) behavior to become overloaded, tormenting the dog,” the affidavit states.”
Because it's cold. And the situation for dogs who are kept chained outside as if they were some kind of furry lawn ornament is drastic. If you want to do something to help so-called "back yard" dogs in your area, we've got some great resources here. And we also have a nice little "unchain a dog" pack so you can remind people that if they're unable to take a dog into their home, they shouldn't be getting a dog in the first place.
And now, Loretta Lynn:
My pal Mylie has been at me to blog about crating dogs for a while now, and this is a perfect time to do it, since she just finished making a leaflet about it. Check out the leaflet below, and if you’d like to order some to pass out, click here.
A little light relief for you all this morning: A man in Tama, Iowa, was out pheasant hunting with his dog this week, when the mischievous little canine stepped on the hunter’s gun, shooting the man in the left leg. True story. The hunter, James Harris, is apparently recovering in an Iowa hospital, and, hopefully, having a long hard think about things like poetic justice, irony, and why it sucks to get shot at by another animal. There’s no word yet on whether the dog is being charged with the shooting.
An awful lot of people have been contacting us to find out where PETA stands on the issue, so I figured I’d share our official statement on the subject, since there really is a bunch going on with this story. Here it is:
At a time when so many people in Hollywood—like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton—are making impetuous "pet" purchases, PETA commends Ellen DeGeneres for adopting a homeless animal from a shelter rather than buying a dog. Every purchase of an animal from a pet store sentences to death an animal who is desperately waiting in an animal shelter for a home. We know that Ellen was trying to do the right thing in finding the dog a new home. She just missed a step in neglecting to contact the agency first. PETA does think that the agency's policies of doing home checks and not allowing people to transfer animals to others are good rules that protect animals. Ellen was just trying to do the right thing—she is a huge animal lover—and she surely has learned from this experience.
So there you have it. It really sucks that Ellen had a bad experience after doing the compassionate thing and adopting from a shelter, but you can’t really fault a shelter for going the extra mile to make sure everyone who ends up with one of their animals is likely to be a responsible guardian. I guess we just see both sides of the story on this one.
Update: Click here to read PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s Op-Ed in The Virginian Pilot about why PETA brought Vick into the office.
Contrary to recent news reports, there is absolutely no agreement with Michael Vick to appear in a PETA public service announcement. However, we are in discussion with his representatives to do a PSA that would take the issue of dogfighting head on, dogfighter to dogfighter. But it would be under the strictest of guidelines. The script we discussed was:
“Look at me. I have lost everything—my career, my income, respect, friends. I’ve hurt my family, and I am an object of scorn. My life is ruined. I have gone from being a star to the gutter, and now I’m going to jail. Don’t be a loser like me. If you fight dogs, stop. And if you don’t, don’t start.”
If Vick were to do this, we would be very pleased. Short of that, it’s not happening. But what do you think? Should Michael Vick do a PSA directed at potential dogfighters to send the message that if you fight dogs, you will lose everything?
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.