In Switzerland, where it’s legal to kill cats, the illegal business of selling or trading cat furs is booming.
The sale of cat fur was made illegal in 2008, and people who sell cat fur face tough new penalties, enacted last month, including fines of more than $20,000. Still, it is possible to buy cat pelts from tanneries, according to Tomi Tomek, co-founder of cat-advocacy group SOS Chats.
It’s legal to kill cats that stray more than 650 feet from their homes because feral cats pose a menace to the environment by driving out native species and killing off endangered local bird species. That means people’s pets go missing, according to The New York Times.
Cats kill billions of birds every year in the U.S. alone. An environmental activist in New Zealand has even called for the island to be rid of these darling, vicious animals.
The trade of cat fur, however, stems from a centuries-old practice of using cat fur blankets to cure rheumatoid arthritis, according to The Verge.
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