Switzerland: black market in domestic cat pelts

Cat fur pelt Switzerland

Cat fur pelt Switzerland

July 2013: Despite being belatedly banned in Switzerland, the fur trade in domestic cat pelts, still exists on the black market for three reasons:

  1. It is lucrative –  a blanket made of up to 12 domestic cat pelts can be worth more than $1,700
  2. You can still shoot domestic cats if they are more than 200 metres from their home — shock, horror, I never knew that. Is that really the case?
  3. Some Swiss believe that wearing a domestic cat fur garment can cure rheumatism — more shock horror. This is the sort of thing some Chinese still believe. In China up to 2 million cats per year are killed for their fur. Staggering and awful. The Swiss appear to have adopted the Chinese traditions. There must be an historical connection of some sort; probably ancient trading. It would seem that this disturbing idea that has no basis in fact mainly exists in the older citizens of Switzerland. As they die out so will the demand.

The three bulleted points above pretty much sums up why the fur trade that was banned in 2008 continues on the black market.

Thankfully, it appears that the trade is much reduced since the days before the ban. In an effort to eradicate it altogether the Swiss government have increased the penalty for selling a cat pelt to 20,000 Swiss francs (about $21,700 USD).

However, prosecutions for trading in cat fur are virtually non-existent and therefore enforcement is weak. This is because it is a low level crime despite the high quality of animal welfare law and attitudes in Switzerland. The Swiss really are advanced in respect of animal welfare except for the aberrations referred to above (if they are true).

The “aberration” in the law that allows a person to shoot a cat when straying 200+ metres from home will be debated in Parliament with the intention of removing it. Yes, that would seem to be a good idea.


Source: theverge.com

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Switzerland: black market in domestic cat pelts — 10 Comments

  1. Michael, this is not at ALL fascetious. It is not true, so don’t post such nonsense, b/c we DO NOT want to look at . I already told you, that Dr. Rebecca Arnold had to do a “patchwork” on the black kitten that was skinned alive on that Halloween Eve so long ago–DO NOT! torment us with such nonsense! mean it, bad, bad Michael.

  2. Yes shock and horror!
    This is terrible! I hate it that some people disregard the laws and I hate it that most get away with it too.
    What is wrong with them that they think it’s OK that living feeling beings should suffer to make money for them. What is wrong with the police that they don’t arrest these criminals. Or is it like our country, the police do their job but then the Courts let the guilty off lightly and they go happily off to do the same again.
    I don’t know how cruel people can sleep at night! They must have no conscience!

  3. Cat pelts being sold in Switzerland! Unbelievable.First of all its impossible to see stray cats on the streets of Switzerland as i experienced during a tour of that Country in 2010.According to my theory the cats killed for their pelts could be domesticated cats that are discarded by their owners and sent to cat shelters.

    • Yes, and any cats that are on the streets are picked up for their pelts, which is why you can’t see any! I read once that there were not enough stray and wandering cats to supply the Swiss cat fur trade so they went into bordering French towns and stole cats. That was before the ban I believe.

  4. I find this hard to believe but if it’s true then it’s true. It must happen up some mountain somewhere. Nobody shoots cats around here. I have never once heard a gunshot in Switzerland whereas in England, Canada and the US I have heard plenty of them.

    • It would be wonderful if you could fined out what is going on but if it is true it is probably quite secret. The Brits shoot cats with air rifles.

      • You must be right – I mean I mentioned this to people here from before and naturally just like us they were shocked and hadn’t heard of it. The law about 200m and shooting a cat is another thing. I have a feeling when I mention that on monday morning at work they aren’t even going to believe me. One of them has a cat which he got from the farmer just down the road. I would wager that even the farmer would think it can’t be true that you can shoot a cat which is 200m from any building etc. For the pelts it must as you say be black market I suppose. I would guess that if it’s not villagers in the mountains selling to other villagers for some traditional habitual reason then they are made and sold out of the country and covertly. The thing is that in Switz I just can’t imagine there being a law allowing you to shoot them. Doesn’t seem plausible. Maybe it’s a case of an old law superceeded by a newer law not mentioned?

        • In some ways I am more surprised by the 200 meter shoot the cat law than the domestic cat pelts. I would be very surprised if that was true but it might be. I think I will do some more work on that myself. If that is not true the whole story begins to lose credibility.

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