Fur Farming: An Unnecessary and Cruel Industry
Clothing/Cosmetics and Animal Abuse Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM Danielle Maffei, AnimalBlawg
June 2021

Over 15 European countries have recognized that these methods to kill animals in fur trading are cruel and inhumane, and have presented legislation to ban or phase out fur farming.

wild Mink

Around one hundred million animals are killed annually in the fur trading industry, and they are slaughtered in horribly cruel ways. Animals such as beavers, chinchillas, foxes, minks, rabbits, raccoons and even dogs and cats are purposely bred and slaughtered for their fur in this trading system, and they are confined in small cages, stacked on top of one another, for their entire lives. Being trapped in these small cages not only subdues their natural behaviors, but also may result in mental distress, where they pace and circle frantically, self-mutilation of biting at their skin, tails and feet and even cannibalism, and fighting with others in their cage.

Furthermore, the manner in how they are slaughtered is inhumane and cruel. The animals are gassed, electrocuted, beaten or have their necks broken or their throats cut. Sometimes these animals wake up and are skinned while still alive and in many facilities, workers do not care to confirm that animals were unconscious before severing their heads, breaking their necks or skinning them. Fur farmers are more concerned about preserving the quality of the fur and doing so in the cheapest way possible, so they use slaughter methods that preserve the fur but cause extreme suffering to these animals.

Additionally, animals are trapped and killed in the wild for their fur. Traps also inflict a significant amount of suffering to these animals, whether they are the intended target or not (pets and endangered species are not prone to these traps). These animals are typically trapped for days when caught, unable to move, seek shelter, food or water, and oftentimes, may inflict more injury to themselves to try and escape. Such traps may include steel-jaw traps, which clamp down on an animal and most times cut to the trapped animal’s bone, Conibear traps, which crush their necks with 90 pounds of pressure per square inch, or water-set traps, which leaves animals like beavers struggling for more than nine minutes before drowning them. When the trappers arrive, they will often stomp or beat these animals to death.

caged Mink

Throughout the world, there has been an acknowledgment that there must be change in order to prevent needless and profound suffering in the fur industry to these animals. Over 15 European countries have recognized that these methods to kill animals in fur trading are cruel and inhumane, and have presented legislation to ban or phase out fur farming. Fur farming has been banned in Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands (fox farm and chinchilla farms are banned and mink farms will be phased out by 2024), Northern Ireland, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

Further, there has been progress in the United States. In 2018, both San Francisco and Los Angeles banned fur farms. San Francisco was the first major American city to ban fur sales while Los Angeles was the largest city in the United States, and in the world, to ban fur farms. Following the four cities in its state that prohibited fur sales, California became the first state in the United States to ban fur sales, starting in 2023. Shortly after, a city in Massachusetts became the first city outside of California to ban fur. New York state, also recognizing the suffering animals must endure in fur farms, banned electrocution of fur animals. Bills to ban fur sales have also been presented in five states, including Rhode Island, Oregon, Connecticut, Hawaii and New York.

Even fashion retailers, such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdales have recognized the needless cruelty of fur farms, and have confirmed they will stop selling products made with animal fur and exotic animal skin. Other top fashion designers, such as Versace, Ralph Lauren and Chanel, have dropped fur from their collections. With these huge retailers and designers banning the sale of fur and exotic animal skin in their stores, they are making a statement to many other fashion businesses and the fashion industry in general that torturing and brutally killing animals for something as needless as fashion is unacceptable.

It is evident that using fur in the industry is inherently cruel, completely unnecessary, avoidable and immoral and for mere human vanity. Fortunately, countries and cities around the world are beginning to understand that fur farming and sales are preventable, and have begun to take action that is needed to stop the inhumane suffering and killings of these innocent animals. 

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