(CN) "China flaying animals alive"
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 _____
Posted: August 19, 2008
By Bob Unruh
Editor's Note: The descriptions and video ofChina 's fur industry in this
story will be disturbing to some readers.
The newest controversy over exports from China has caused nightmares for
researchers documenting the abuse inflicted on animals bred and raised in
tiny cages and then skinned alive for their fur.
WND has reported multiple times on problems with exports fromChina .
Now comes word from an extended investigation into the fur trade that China
is estimated to produce approximately 85 percent of the world's fur products
- and it has virtually no regulations or rules for the treatment of the
According to Mark Rissi, a spokesman for Swiss Animal
<http://www.animal- protection. net/furtrade/ chinafur. html> Protection, which
has documented abuse of animals raised for their fur as early as 1983, the
China project has been going on for several years.
The organization' s report <http://www.animal- protection. net> has been made
available online, with dramatic images and descriptions that researchers
found more than disturbing.
"As animals are considered objects in China , there is little or no awareness
for the suffering of these sentient beings," Rissi told WND from his
European base of operations via e-mail. "The cruelty found was beyond our
expectations, and it was hard to document without interfering. It caused
nightmares to the team, especially in the editing room, because the scenes
had to be replayed and replayed to be edited from six hours down to 20
Rissi said the actual onsite investigation was done by his organization' s
staff members as well as trusted Asian animal protection supporters, but as
fur production was not a controversial subject, "people willingly showed
their farms to the team."
He said he's glad other organizations, such as the U.S.-based People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals, have joined in his group's campaign.
"Our main goal was to get this distributed because we want consumers
worldwide to be aware about the cruelty involved in the fur fashion," he
"People have a right to know that a huge percentage of fur is imported from
China , which doesn't have any federal laws protecting animals on fur farms.
People who might contribute to this atrocity by purchasing fur or
fur-trimmed garments need to know about the horrible suffering of the
animals who wore that skin first," PETA spokeswoman Melissa Karpel told WND.
"We want them to see how fur farmers slam terrified animals - including
raccoon pups - on the ground and skin them while they're still conscious.
People need to know what they're really buying when they buy fur or fur
trim," she said.
"Conditions on Chinese fur farms make a mockery of the most elementary
animal welfare standards," the Swiss report said. "This report shows that
China 's colossal fur industry routinely subjects animals to housing,
husbandry, transport and slaughter practices that are unacceptable from a
veterinary, animal welfare and moral point of view."
PETA has posted a Swiss Animal Protection video on its U.S. site,
documenting the bloody violence prevalent in the Chinese fur industry.
The report contained the testimony from witnesses to a dog slaughter:
Once pulled out from its cage, the raccoon dog curls up into a ball in
mid-air. . One woman in a headscarf is first to grab hold of the raccoon
dog's tail and the others drift away peevishly. The woman in the headscarf
swings the animal upwards. It forms an arc in the air and is then slammed
heavily to the ground, throwing up a cloud of dust. The raccoon dog tries to
stand up, its paws scrabbling in the grit. The wooden club in the woman's
hand swings down onto its forehead. The woman picks up the animal and walks
toward the other side of the road, throwing it onto a pile of other raccoon
dogs. A stream of blood trickles from its muzzle, but its eyes are open and
it continues to repeatedly blink, move its paws, raise its head and collapse
to the ground. Beside it lies another raccoon dog. Its four limbs have been
hacked off but still it continues to yelp.
The report then graphically describes how the dogs are skinned, sometimes
while they are living.
Rissi noted that the Humane Society of the United States also has worked on
the investigation, citing well-known U.S. companies, including J.C. Penney,
Burlington Coat Factory, Bloomingdale' s, Sak's Fifth Avenue and Macy's, for
selling Chinese-produced fur products, sometimes labeling them as "faux fur"
or raccoon when the actual product is from a raccoon dog.
The Swiss Animal Protection report said slaughter methods range from
beatings with a metal or wooden stick or swinging the animal until it slams
to the ground.
Then they are skinned.
"They struggle and try to fight back to the very end. Even after their skin
has been stripped off breathing, heart beat, directional body and eyelid
movements were evident for five to 10 minutes," the report said.
The process is repeated millions of times, as China processes up to 100,000
pelts in a day at times.
The Swiss organization saidChina should pass a national animal welfare law,
prohibit skinning live animals, prohibit inhumane treatment and slaughter
methods, and the rest of the world should shun the use of fur.
Swiss Animal Protection is the umbrella organization of 58 regional animal
protection associations in Switzerland and the Principality of
Liechtenstein . Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and biggest animal
protection organization operating throughoutSwitzerland .