Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Why it is wrong to wear fur

. Updated: 7 September 2017

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Many animals are killed for their fur, including mink, foxes, rabbits, sables, chinchillas, beavers, lynx, seals, raccoons, coyotes, muskrats, wolves, otters, cats and dogs.

In addition, endangered and threatened species are also illegally poached and traded for their skins, contributing to the extinction of species such as tigers, leopards and ocelots.

The UK & Fur

Fur farming was banned in United Kingdom in January 2003. However, fur can be sold here. The greatest concentration of fur farms worldwide is in Northern Europe, which contributes 85% of animal skins used in the fur industry. The furs that come from animals not reared in farms, come from those that have been trapped in the wild; mainly in Russia and North America, however, fur trapping on a smaller scale does occur in other countries such as Argentina, New Zealand and Denmark.

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Fur Farms

The animals raised in fur farms are denied any expression of natural behaviour; for instance, the most widely farmed animal is the mink, which is a solitary animal by nature and semi-aquatic, yet they are confined in cages side by side and are denied swimming water.

Subsequently, such ‘factory’ fur farmed animals are seen to display stereotypic, abnormal behaviours such as pacing, gnawing at the cage bars, self-mutilation and even cannibalism. They are kept in long rows of tiny wire mesh cages with wire mesh floors, so that their faeces and urine fall through the bars. It is extremely uncomfortable for the animals; however, their fur remains untainted and their cages do not need to be cleaned. The animals meet their end through gassing, decompression chambers, neck-snapping or electrocution through the mouth and anus.

These are all very cruel methods; however, what is of paramount concern to the fur farmers is not the welfare of the animals, but the preservation of their fur and through these methods, although incredibly painful for the animals, the fur is kept intact.

Trapping

Furs that come from animals not raised on factory fur farms come from trapping, which is in fact a recreational activity for adults and children alike. The steel-jawed leghold trap is the most commonly used and has been banned in the UK and Europe for many years. It is a long and painful death for those animals caught using this method; the leg is clamped, allowing the steel trap to dig deep into the victim’s muscle tissue. The animals must then wait until the trapper comes back, all the while, weakening through attempted escapes. Those animals that do escape the trap do so through gnawing off their trapped limb. Underwater traps are also used to catch beavers, minks, and muskrats; they are all only semi-aquatic mammals so their deaths are especially drawn out and stressful.

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In China, dogs and cats are increasingly being killed for their fur. They are skinned alive, then either suffocated, hanged, bludgeoned or left to bleed to death before their furs are exported into North America and many European countries to be used for fur trims on coats, gloves, handbags and toys.

Despite the existence of bans in a number of countries on either fur farming, leg hold traps or bans on certain types of fur, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) does not consider trade on ethical grounds and therefore allows for the importation of furs into any country, no matter what laws that country may have in place to protect the welfare of animals.

What you can do

It is only when people stop buying fur that the fur trade will cease to exist. Do not buy any fur or fur trimmed products and before you purchase anything that looks like fur, be sure to ask the retailer whether or not it is real before making any transactions. You can also express your distaste for any stores that sell fur products, ask to speak to the manager and let them know you will boycott their store until they stop stocking fur. These horrific occurrences cannot be justified. The cause of such cruelty is nothing more than pure vanity.

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