The European Commission (EC) on Monday (November 20) adopted a proposal to ban the import, export and sale of cat and dog fur in the EU.

The EC said there is evidence that cat and dog fur is being placed on the European market, usually undeclared as such or disguised as synthetic and other types of fur.

The vast majority of the cat and dog fur is believed to be imported from third countries, notably China, where the rearing of these animals for this purpose is practiced.

The Commission has been informed that such fur has been found not just on clothing but also on a number of personal accessories as well as children's soft-toys.

Markos Kyprianou, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said in a statement: "The message that we have received from EU consumers has been loud and clear. They do not find it acceptable to farm cats and dogs for their fur, nor do they want products containing such fur sold on the European market.

"In view of the broad political support for this measure I am confident that the European Parliament and the Council will ensure its adoption at the earliest opportunity," he added.

By Stuart Todd.