BRUSSELS, Belgium – Animal rights campaigner Heather Mills McCartney called on the European Union to ban the production and sale of cat and dog fur in Europe.
Mills McCartney, wife of Paul McCartney, revealed evidence Thursday that she said shows a thriving industry and trade in cat and dog skins, mainly in the Czech Republic, which joined the EU in 2004.
"Domestic cats are stolen off the streets in the Czech Republic and we're talking about 2,000 to 3,000 just in the Czech Republic, not in the whole of Europe," she told reporters.
"They skin them alive," Mills McCartney said, displaying a baby blanket sewn together with 20 cat skins.
A video was shown of emaciated dogs and cats kept in dark, cramped rooms and cages. The video also portrayed the killing of a dog.
"It has to stop," said EU lawmaker Struen Stevenson, who is backing the appeal. "The main thing that we are seeking is to have an EU-wide ban on the import, export and trade in cat and dog skins."
The United States and Australia have already instituted bans on the trade, as well as EU member nations Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece and Italy.
Activists have been campaigning for five years to have a ban passed by the EU's European Commission.
"How much more do we have to show to get this ban in place?" asked Mills McCartney, who was in Brussels earlier this year to campaign for the same cause. "How many more animals have to be skinned alive before they (the Commission) go and do something about it?"