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Tuesday, 2 December 2003
Page: 23533


Mr Murphy asked the Minister representing the Minister for Justice and Customs, upon notice, on 8 September 2003:

(1) What are the current customs regulations relating to the import and export of cat and dog furs.

(2) Is the importation of cat and dog furs prohibited; if so, which legislative provisions prohibit it; if not, why not.

(3) Is the export of cat and dog furs prohibited; if so, which legislative provisions prohibit it; if not, why not.


Mr Ruddock (Attorney-General) —The Minister for Justice and Customs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) All imports and exports are subject to the provisions of the Customs Act 1901 and associated legislation, including the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905 (CTD Act).

If cat or dog fur were imported as apparel then it would be subject to labelling by regulations made under the CTD Act. These require that articles of apparel must be labelled with the name of the country in which the goods were made or produced and a true description of the goods. The CTD Act also requires that any labelling about composition applied to any imported or exported goods must not be misleading.

(2) and (3) No.

The Government currently is considering a number of options to address concerns with the import and export of cat and dog furs. The options under review include an import and export ban; domestic market controls, along the lines of that adopted in the USA; labelling of goods and making representations to the Governments of the alleged source countries.

Other countries are facing similar considerations. For example the Government of the United Kingdom recently announced an investigation to establish the facts about the extent of trade and the level of imports of cat and dog furs entering the UK. That investigation is expected to take six months to complete.