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Parliamentary questions
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30 November 2009
by Cristiana Muscardini (PPE)
to the Commission

 Subject: The fur market and origin marking
 Answer in writing 

Fake articles of clothing from China, made from a protected animal species and falsely relabelled ‘made in Italy’, have been confiscated from a shop in the centre of Rome.

Following the abolition of fur farms in some European countries, such as Italy, China has become the world’s largest exporter of fur and fur products. It has no animal welfare laws to protect animals reared for fur and no rules prohibiting acts of cruelty towards them. Thus it is that European countries continue to evade restrictive internal rules, devolving fur farming activities and saving on labour costs.

Official statistics from China’s Fur Industry Association indicate that fur imports have risen by 54 % and fur exports by 12.3 % in recent years. Over 95 % of the clothing produced in China is sold on overseas markets, and more particularly in Italy and the rest of Europe, the USA, Japan, Korea and Russia, while 80 % of furs are exported from Hong Kong to Europe, the United States and Japan, frequently with falsified origin markings.

Can the Commission indicate:

1. whether it is aware of this situation;
2. what steps have been taken to regulate the European market in furs originating from China;
3. whether it plans to introduce compulsory labelling for all (whole or part) animal skins that have been tanned or subjected to other treatments not altering their natural fibre structure, which expressly indicates the species used, the rearing and slaughter methods, the producing company and the country of origin?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 10 E, 14/01/2011
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