HSI says illegal dog fur products sold in Australia

HSI says illegal dog fur products sold in Australia



The global animal protection organisation, the Humane Society International (HSI), has revealed that investigations over the past few weeks by it have uncovered several clothing retail outlets in Australia, including major national department stores, selling items containing dog fur.

“Despite bans on the importation of cat and dog fur pelts and products being implemented back in 2004, following a campaign by HSI, seven years later it would appear that these items have once again infiltrated our borders, and have ended up in Australian stores.” said HSI Director Verna Simpson.

HSI says that following the discovery in February of dog fur in a vest being sold by Wittners, a major national retailer, subsequent investigations and scientific analysis of fur items being sold in other stores around Australia have also tested positive for dog fur; despite being mislabelled as rabbit fur and, in some cases, raccoon fur.

HSI was instrumental in lobbying the previous Australia Liberal-National Coalition government to impose a ban on the importation of dog and cat fur back in 2004.

This saw the Government pass amendments to the Customs Import Regulations.

Ms Simpson said that since then HIS had also continued to call for changes to labelling laws that would ensure that all fur products are labelled with the species and country of origin so that consumers, and retailers, are not mislead in the future.

“We see the retailers as victims in this deception, as at no point do they think they are buying dog or cat fur.

“Most retailers are horrified when they are told they are selling dog fur.

“When Myer was alerted to the fact one of their designers had dog fur, they immediately withdrew the product, with independent tests currently being conducted.

“They are now adding their weight to our campaign to strengthen the legislation banning dog and cat fur imports into Australia, calling for mandatory species labelling.

“Clearly, there are weaknesses in stopping these products at the border and we are calling on Customs to move quickly to stop these illegal items are slipping into the country,” Ms Simpson said.

“Despite reporting the results of our investigation to Customs, HSI is extremely disappointed at the slow response and apparent lack of action to have these items removed from sale and the matter investigated, and has written to the Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Conner, asking that he intervene.

“Unfortunately, not all retailers took the swift action that Myer has and now we are relying on customs to enforce the legislation,” Ms Simpson said.

Myer management is currently in Shanghai meeting with more than 60 suppliers, and Ms Simpson said they were reiterating their Sale of Fur policy to all suppliers and advising that breaches of the policy would not be tolerated.

“The public response to this issue in the past has been overwhelming, attracting by far the largest outcry of all the animal causes HSI has ever championed,” said Ms Simpson.

“Australian consumers certainly don’t want to buy dog and cat fur products and most Australian retailers do not want to be at risk of selling it.

“It is vital that the Minister intervenes and ensures the gaps allowing these illegal products onto the Australian market are closed immediately, and tighter labelling laws, to protect both consumers and retailers, are enacted as soon as possible.”


HSI has suggested that the following facts relate to dog and cat fur use:

  • The death toll is conservatively estimated to be in the range of two million dogs and cats killed annually for their fur.
  • Usually, 10 to 12 dogs and 24 cats are killed to manufacture one coat – more if puppies or kittens are used.
  • The public response to our 2003 investigation was overwhelming, attracting by far the biggest outcry of all the animal causes HSI has ever championed.
  • Australian consumers certainly don’t want to buy dog and cat fur and most Australian retailers do not want to be at risk of selling it.
  • The then Minister for Customs received an unprecedented 10,000 direct representations on the issue and over 100,000 Australians signed the petition to the Prime Minister, one of the largest petitions ever to the Australian Parliament.
  • The fur industry deliberately misleads consumers about product composition.
  • A dog product may be sold as Gae-wolf, Sobaki, Raccoon and Asian Jackal among many others.
  • Cat products are often sold as Wildcat, Goyangi and Katzenfelle to name only a few.



  1. What the heck is WRONG with these people?! I question humanity anymore about how cold we have become but this is ridiculous. Don’t these people that are doing this have any feelings at all? How can they dress out a dog on the sidewalk of whatever city that is and nobody say anything…and what is wrong with the idiots that are purchasing this crap? If there wasn’t a market, they wouldn’t do it!!! Shame on the designers, whatever country they are from, and shame on anyone that would encourage this behavior, either by designing, purchasing, butchering, etc.. Sick

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  2. Dog, cat, raccoon, no matter the label…..it is still the skin of a living animal. The sale of all fur products should be banned. It seems like most people get grossed out thinking about wearing the skin of a dog or cat but dont mind wearing rabbit, fox, and even leathers. All these products are replaceable and animlas should stop being killed for their skins!

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  3. honteux de faire souffrir des animaux pour le bien être de quelques personnes qui portent la mort sur elles et d’autres qui s’enrichissent sur leurs douleurs.il faut arrêter tout ces massacres d’animaux les défenseurs sont scandalisés et en colère.

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  4. I’ll skin alive any person that wants to skin animals alive because these people are obviously sub human perhaps less human than the dogs ! As for the stores that sell the fur ? Boycott them into bankruptcy and treat the management and employees with – shall I say – disrespect ?

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  5. If it is ok to have Racoon, Rabbit or any other animal fur then what is wrong with having Dog or Cat Fur. At least they are not endangered species.
    They are so many of them.
    Don’t get me wrong I am against any kind of animal Fur whether endangered or not. I think it is very cruel to kill an animal just for the Fur.

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  6. Here we are, having a good old whinge about what sort of fur we will or wont wear when the planet is in the state it is in. I think we all need to take stock of the big picture and face reality.

    Over 6 billion people in the world – the vast majority of our population in in third world conditions – people in third world conditions only wish to survive – all environmental concerns go out the window when you are fighting for survival.
    The problem is not the dog fur, it is the worlds population. The soon we all can see that and do something about it the sooner the planet will benifit.

    Question: How do we solve our population issue to save out planet?

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  7. It never ceases to amazeme or disgust me how alot of the human race is so arrogant and ignorant. Humans never seen to learn a lesson or have feelings when it comes to making money. Animals and the environment are just words to alot of people. I dont get it.

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  8. Most people eat beef, pork, lamb and wear leather shoes , belts , bags, so why be squeamish about dog or cat fur ? What about the bears held in cages for removing bile? What about the species caught and not wanted ,and discarded dead when they are net fishing ? The worst animal of all is man, who preys on all other animals. And we over breed like mad, worse than rabbits !!! I do NOT condone killing dogs or cats for their fur, but is it a fate worse than starving to death ? Seen the pi dogs in India? Looked in your local pound lately??

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  9. It’s a byproduct of one of china’s main food sources… don’t see Chinese raising hell over the way Australians kill Kangaroos for their fur & used as dog food… get a grip people it’s all in your prospective…

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