News Round-up: Dog Fur for Sale and Cross-breeding Endangered Cats
1. Fur for clothing now coming from dogs? An animal advocacy group says its investigation has turned up coats — some with designer labels, some at higher-end retailers — with fur from man’s best friend. Some retailers were sent scrambling to pull the coats from shelves, take them off Web sites and even offer refunds to consumers, reports the Napa Valley Register.
2. Is it possible that fashion could ever drive the recovery of an endangered species? Loro Piana, a high-end Italian fashion label, uses vicuña wool in its most expensive designs. Its demand, once exclusive, for the high-priced product, which is softer than sheep wool, has coincided with a steady rise in the population of the once endangered species.
3. Since we're speaking of fur: "Baringer said he's putting in 10-hour days skinning animals and fleshing pelts. His strong fingers move quickly, separating fur from body in mere minutes. The pelts then get stretched and dried before being shipped to fur brokers and manufacturers," a statement from fur trader Roger Baringer in the Beacon Journal. More Ohio traders are setting traps as the demand for fur goes up.
4. It's official, the regulations for canned lion hunting in South Africa that have been discussed on the blog for months now (#3), were officially announced today. This is a positive step towards ending the practice all together, "however we remain deeply concerned with the welfare of between 3,000 and 5,000 captive bred predators currently held in facilities throughout South Africa. Some breeders may not qualify for licenses in terms of the stringent new regulations and will therefore be faced with the dilemma of what to do with these lions, cheetahs and other predators,” says IFAWs Neil Greenwood in South Africa. Frida (#1) is an example of a lion whose fate could be jeopardized.
5. The Malay Mail reports on a bizarre local conservation project. Wildlife Fauna Breeding and Research Centre is privately owned, but has government support. For the most part is seems the owner has a genuine concern for wildlife and is breeding some of the countries most endangered animals. However, this statement threw up a question mark in my mind: "Muzaffar is also cross-breeding the Asian leopard cat with domestic pedigree Bengal cats to help produce tamer leopard cats to be pets." Thoughts??
6. Discarded piranha fish have appeared in a German river. Just one result of the consequences of illegal pet trade. Spiegel Online also offers a photos gallery of the most common species kept as pets.