On Taobao.com, China’s largest e-commerce web site, more than 6,000 items – including coats, vests, boots and cushions – are for sale that are made from the skin of cats or dogs.
Although Taobao’s policy does not allow the sale of these items, the punishment for the sellers is a deduction of their ratings points, which makes them less popular.
According to the China Small Animal Protection Association, many of the cat products, such as a mattress stuffed with cat fur, are from dealers who catch strays off the street and skin them. Other items are from animals that have been bludgeoned and skinned, some while still alive.
Animal welfare advocates in China have launched an online campaign asking Taobao to take stronger measures to remove and ban these sellers as well as the dog and cat skin products from its web site.
Help them in their campaign by signing the petition.
Photo credit: Mike Gifford