Detection method

The source of dog- and cat fur is often obscured by the use of other names, like rabbit, a fantasy name or “Imitation” fur. This happens on the cargo consignments, but also on labels. This is consumer fraud: We would never knowingly buy dog- or cat fur.

With the naked eye it is impossible to segregate chemically processed dog- or cat fur from other kinds of fur or “Imitation”. We could do the fire test but that is bad for your health and the chemical coated and painted dog- and cat fur smells like plastic as well. The chem. treated, dyed and shaved dog- and cat fur has the same look and feel as “Imitation” fur. So the task to smell, feel or see what is real or “Imitation” has become an impossible task.

Microscopic research could show if the fur is real or not. Synthetic fibers generally have a smoother structure than the hairs of a mammal. Via DNA-analysis can be decided if the animal fur is from a rabbit or not. But also here it is true that aggressive chemicals affect the DNA, so there is a chance that the analysis stays inconclusive.

The DNA method is in any case not adequate to prove the presence of dog- or cat fur; this can only be done with the SIAM-method.

SIAM-method

The SIAM-method is the only method to trace dog- or cat fur. You only need a small sample or even one hair to reveal what it really is. The method is developed a few years ago in Germany by research lab “Gene-Facts” in cooperation with the “Institute of Technical Biochemistry” of the University Saarbrucken. SIAM stands for ‘Species Identification of Animals by Maldi-tof mass spectrometry’. Research has brought to light that the SIAM-method is very reliable and accurate-even if the fur is chemically treated.

The SIAM-method is able to help trace dog- and cat fur –but is scarcely applied, how come?

The method is here-but gets scarcely applied

According to minister Verburg from LNV (Agriculture, Nature management and Fishery) the checking of compliance with the law lies with customs and the Food and Goods authority (VWA): customs does checks and when there is a suspected breach of the law they then turn the suspected case over the to the VWA for further investigation. Next the VWA analyses the product in their laboratory with the help of microscopic detection. If there is evidence that the product contains animal fur instead of “Imitation” fur, then they continue looking for signs of rabbit fur. If that isn’t the case the material goes to a lab where the SIAM-method is being practiced.

It is come to known that customs hardly exercises any verification on forbidden fur products: after asking? We got told that as little as 1% of all imported goods get controlled… These checks are fiscally uninteresting as they told us…so the law is breached en masse.

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The SIAM methode is the only way to track dog- and cat fur.
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Since January 1st, 2009 it is illegal to import dog and cat fur. However, the law is hardly ever acted upon and is very often violated. We want to expose people who break the law without using violence.