The Swiss newspapers have informed us that the Swiss fur trade has been banned from Jan 1st 2013 but some trade continues. Marc very kindly told me about this important event. It is important because, as I understand it, Switzerland, surprisingly, is the centre of the fur trade in Europe. Worldwide, China is the biggest exporter. The fur trade is banned in the European Union as far as I am aware.
The Swiss newspaper article appears to say that undercover agents ordered some domestic cat pelts from a trader and were charged 70 Swiss francs (76.63 USD) per pelt (not sure if the price is per pelt or per batch). But what was shocking is that some of the skins had bullet or air rifle holes in them. The sellers are, apparently, being charged with criminal activities.
Clearly these cats had been shot. I presume the news article is referring to Swiss or perhaps French cats. The market in cat pelts is partly driven by the belief that they alleviate rheumatism. This has been a long held belief. Apparently the rheumatism market is not big enough on its own to support this gruesome trade.
I am absolutely sure that there is not a iota of scientific evidence to support the rheumatism theory. It is the same sort of belief that keeps the cat market alive in Asia. Human superstition and idiotic, almost medieval beliefs.
I suppose the other reason is the fur is used as a lining to clothes and accessories – usually gloves.
I wonder if the cat and dog fur trade in Switzerland is linked to the eating of domestic cats and dogs amongst some mountain farmers in that country?