LETTER: World trade and cruel traps

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The Independent Online
From Ms Agnes D. Bryce

Sir: Danny Penman (10 May) writes of the attempts by the Canadian and US governments to force the European Union to drop its impending ban on the import of furs from animals caught in cruel traps (eg, the leghold trap).

The International Standards Organisation has accepted the recommendation of the European Commission's Scientific Veterinary Committee that a killing trap should bring instantaneous death, and not a lingering, painful one. If, under pressure from the fur associations' lobby group TC191, and the Canadian and US governments waving World Trade Organisation rules in a threatening manner, the ISO capitulates, that must bring into doubt any future decisions made by them.

Doubtless there is a good deal of quid pro quo in world trade, but we must not forget that in this instance the product is not brass nails or widgets, but living animals, which - if the fur trade gets its way - will continue to be subjected to trapping methods bringing painful, lingering deaths that are rightly condemned by the member states.

Yours sincerely,



11 May