I AM writing in the hope of raising the awareness of the cruel trade of cat and dog fur, which was highlighted in last week's TV programme with Heather and Paul McCartney.

It is shockingly not just happening in Asia but also the EU.

Heather Mills McCartney is working closely with the Humane Society International to raise awareness and try and help ban this vile trade. Fur from any animal is cruel and completely unnecessary as it is just for vanity and fashion.

People should be made aware that fur for coats, bags and accessories can also come from domestic dogs and cats. Some of these animals are bred in appalling compounds and treated cruelly before being slaughtered for their fur. Others are lost pets and strays off the streets.

Dogs are often bludgeoned to death, cats are strangled with a wire noose. Dogs such as German shepherds and golden retrievers are common breeds used.

Ten to 12 dogs are killed to make one coat and 24 cats. Evidence shows that 42 German shepherd puppies were used for another coat.

It's not just coats, though. The UK public are unwittingly buying hair accessories, fur-trimmed coats, cat figurines, cat toys, children's toys and ski boots all cat and dog fur.

The pelts are exported to France, Germany and Italy where they are made into these items and shipped around the world.

So next time you see anything with fur on, even if it looks fake and dyed, ask the shop owner where they purchased them from. If they do not know, then it's highly likely it is from dogs and cats.

For more information, log on to www.heathermillsmccartney.com.

(Mrs) L HOBBS Lydiard Millicent