A Vancouver MP wants to see a full ban on the importation and sale of dog and cat fur in Canada.
Vancouver Kingsway NDP MP Don Davies is behind an electronic petition that he hopes to present in the House of Commons in May.
The petition states millions of dogs and cats are inhumanely raised and confined, and brutally slaughtered for consumption and harvest of their fur.
Davies says he has been focusing on animal welfare issues in his eight years in Parliament, and after doing some research into the issue, realized the terrible conditions these animals are often living in.
“I found there is cruel and inhumane treatment of these animals that I think would shock and offend the conscience of Canadians. Dogs and cats in Canada are domesticated, they are our pets and parts of our families. I think the products of that process ought to be banned in Canada as our own contribution to show that this is not OK with Canadians,” he says.
In addition, Davies says there should be more clear labeling on products that use cat or dog fur, so consumers know exactly what they are buying.
He says the United States, England, Australia and European Union have all taken steps to prohibit the importation or sale of these products.
“I think it is an international standard that Canada should join,” he says.
Over 3,500 people have already signed the petition, the majority of them from B.C. and Ontario.
“It’s been amazing,” says Davies. “To me, when you are getting thousands of Canadians within a matter of days [singing up], that tells me it’s something that’s resonating with Canadians from coast to coast.”
B.C. SPCA has also thrown its support behind the petition.
“Cat and dog fur can be used in many products that the general public may not be aware of,” said Geoff Urton, BC SPCA senior manager, in a release. “It is typically found on things like the trim of a jacket, or lining in a pair of boots or gloves, or the plush exterior of a ‘stuffie’ toy.”
BC SPCA says it supports the ban and encourages all animal lovers to take the time to sign the petition.
“I think it’s important to have their endorsement and I welcome it,” says Davies.
The voting deadline is May 17, after which Davies will be presenting the petition periodically over the next four months in the House of Commons to “make sure that the Parliamentarians know that this issue is there and that it’s important to many Canadians,” he adds.
Asked if petitions can lead to real change, Davies says a responsive government that is interested in what Canadians think will be paying close attention to petitions and using it as one way to influence government policy.
“I think the previous government, to be quite frank, did not pay attention to the petition process,” he says. “I rarely saw the Conservatives adjust or alter their police based on petitions. I think any responsive government should and I will certainly be calling on the new Liberal government to pay attention to what Canadians think.”
To sign the petition, go here.