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October 13, 2015

The Fur Trade

Humane Society International/United Kingdom

  • Mink and other animals suffer agony for a frivolous purpose. Jo-Anne McArthur

An opinion poll commissioned by the RSPCA in 2010 showed that 93 per cent of the UK public would not own or buy real fur.

In The Netherlands, 84 per cent of the public find breeding and killing animals for fur unacceptable. In Germany, that figure is 86 per cent; in Belgium, 85 per cent; in Sweden, it is 78 per cent; and in Italy, it rises to 91 per cent of the population.

Animals killed for fur production

Figures for 2014 show that in China, 60 million minks, 13 million foxes and 14 million raccoon dogs died for the fur trade.

In 2012, in Europe, 32.5 million minks, 2.3 million foxes, 130,000 raccoon dogs and 130,000 chinchillas were killed for their fur.

Eight-five per cent of fur comes from fur farms, where animals including raccoon dogs, rabbits, foxes, mink, and chinchillas, are raised in cages, suffering at length before finally being killed for their fur.

Life is cheap in the animal fur industry: At online wholesalers it’s possible to bulk-buy fur ready made as trims and accessories, for example: a metre of rabbit fur for £1, a 70cm hood trim made of raccoon dog for £3, or a raccoon dog fur pom pom for just 30p.

Make it fake, for the animals’ sake.

Fur farming legislation

Fur farming was banned in 2000 in the UK and Northern Ireland. It has also been outlawed in Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the Republic of Macedonia.

1n 1995, The Netherlands banned fox and chinchilla farming; a ban on mink farming will see the practice phased out entirely in the country by 2024. In 2009, Denmark banned fox farming. Fur farming was outlawed in Wallonia in Belgium in 2014.

Other countries, such as Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Ireland are currently debating the issue of banning fur farming.

Environmental impact of fur farming

According to an assessment conducted by the independent research organisation CE Delft in 2013, a comparison between mink fur and faux fur found that the use of up to five faux fur coats has significantly less environmental impact in total than the use of one mink fur coat.

The 2009 report by HSUS, "Toxic Fur: The Impacts of Fur Production on the Environment and the Risks to Human Health", addresses the fur industry’s claims that fur is green and demonstrates how the use of animal fur by the fashion industry is far from environmentally friendly. Rather, the production of fur for fashion imposes significant adverse impacts on both the environment and human health.

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