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101 Dalmatians - Real Life!

The latest fashion craze... fur coats. But are people really getting what they think they are? Most fur coats are made of mink or sable (small, otter-like animals). Having a mink coat used to be a real status symbol, but then came the anti-fur campaigners who believed that killing animals purely for the fur was cruel. They did things like throw buckets of paint over celebrities who wore them, so people stopped wearing them and used fake fur instead. However, fur coats are back in fashion (obviously not here in Australia though as we spend our time trying to cool down!). People in Europe buying fur coats are now discovering much to their horror, that they may be paying for mink, but they're wearing Fido... or maybe Spot or even Tigger! Some coat factories in Eastern Europe are making fur coats out of dog and cat fur. The poor creatures are drugged and skinned alive which they believe preserves the fur's freshness. Similar coats, such as these are being rapidly sold across Europe.

As in the movie: '101 Dalmatians', strays or captured pet dogs are being used for these fur coats. Before being stitched into these coats, the fur is often re-labelled and dyed to conceal its origin. Some Bulgarian fur is now newly labelled as: 'Korean Wolf.'

Our mad Border Collie Gyp
Anyone for some black and white fur boots?

Minks can cost up to $10 000, while dog skin can cost only $4000. Mostly the bigger dogs like German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are used. Dog and cat fur has been banned in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Italy, France and Australia. Tens of thousands of coats are being made every year, ready to sell to residents in Europe.

2000 to 3000 cats are being stolen alone in Czech republic. These skins are made as coats, shoes and bags.

Our advice is: buy wool...because you don't have to kill the sheep to use its coat!

Story by: Imogen Wadlow

Information Sourced From: UK Telegraph; 'Cheaper than mink or sable - fur coats made from dogs that were skinned alive' By Katy Duke and Elizabeth Day. (Filed: 18/12/2005)