French suspect Swiss of cat trafficking

9th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 November 2007, GRENOBLE (AFP) - French animal rights activists in the Alpine Haute-Savoie region suspect Swiss involvement in an alleged cat-trafficking ring in which 450 cats have been nabbed since January.

9 November 2007

GRENOBLE (AFP) - French animal rights activists in the Alpine Haute-Savoie region suspect Swiss involvement in an alleged cat-trafficking ring in which 450 cats have been nabbed since January.

"We suspect Swiss criminals of stealing cats to sell them to medical laboratories or tanneries, because some believe that cat skins can help ease rheumatic pain," said Patricia Dolciani, head of the animal protection SPA office in Thonon on Friday.

Dolciani said several former cat owners plan to lodge a complaint on Tuesday with local authorities to investigate the disappearances.

According to Dolciani, some 10,000 cat skins are treated per year in two tanneries across the border in Switzerland.

The sale of cat leather is prohibited in France, but not in Switzerland.

The Thonon office of the Society for the Protection of Animals said it had received phone calls reporting a total of 450 missing cats since January.

But in Switzerland, the owner of a tannery in Yvonand said she did not believe that there was such a network for the cat skin trade.

"I treat maybe one or two cat skins per year for owners whose pets died and who want to have a momento," said Sylviane Gielmini.  "It really is a small market."

AFP

Subject: French news

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