October 4, 2011
Humane Society International (HSI)
is extremely disappointed that the Government has refused to take action on the illegal importation of dog fur into Australia, despite a statutory ban on this cruel product entering the country.
In 2004, as a direct result of an
HSI campaign, the Australian Government passed amendments to Commonwealth
import regulations, effectively banning the importation of any dog and cat fur
products and ensuring voters that we would not buy in to this cruelty.
Subsequent to our
discovery in February this year of dog fur in a vest being sold by a major
national retailer, investigations and independent scientific analyses of fur
items being sold in other stores around Australia have also tested positive
for dog fur despite being mislabelled as rabbit fur or even fake fur.
“HSI maintains that where an issue is important enough for Parliament to
change legislation, it should also be important enough for that legislation to
be effectively enforced, " says HSI director, Verna Simpson.
not all retailers took swift action once HSI notified them of the problem, and
so we turned to the Commonwealth Government to enforce the legislation. In recent months HSI has written on a number
of occasions alerting the Minister, Customs and Border Protection Service
(Customs) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to the
findings of our dog fur importation investigation.
investigations by HSI have also revealed independent scientific results showing
such fur products testing positive for hexavalent
chromium, a toxic and carcinogenic chemical used in the leather tanning
process that can cause severe health impacts for humans. Results exceeded recommended levels in
leather goods by an incredible 133 to 733 times.
reporting the results of our investigation to Government, HSI is extremely
disappointed at the slow response and apparent lack of action in having these
items removed from sale, and wrote to the Federal Minister for Home Affairs,
Brendan O’Connor, asking that he intervene.
“While we remain disappointed at the lack of action, a number of issues have been highlighted as a
result of our talks with Government, especially with Customs and the ACCC," explains Ms Simpson. “HSI has been
informed that once these fur items have made it past the border, Customs has
little power to take further direct action.
Further, upon requesting action from the ACCC, HSI has been notified
that the matter was not of significant and widespread public detriment to
warrant further action being taken!”
“HSI’s most recent dealing with Minister
O’Connor has resulted in the Government washing it’s hands of the matter,
leaving extreme cruelty unchecked, and forcing HSI to reveal again the horrific
footage from our Chinese undercover investigation," says HSI director, Verna Simpson
For more information on this issue click here
UGG Australia Press Statement download PDF
back to top