It is estimated that over one billion animals are killed for their fur every year. Many different species are used in the fur industry, including mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, domestic dogs and cats, seals, bobcats and beavers, but it is rabbits which are killed in the greatest numbers each year.
Fur is predominantly used in the fashion industry where millions of animals are killed to make coats, scarves and other accessories – it takes up to 65 mink, 40 foxes, 15 lynx, or 60 rabbits to make just one full-length fur coat! However, the demand for fur trim is now reportedly overtaking that for full fur garments, and as it is so cheaply sourced, more designers now see fur simply as another fabric to be added to items without thinking of the suffering caused to the animals from which it came. In this way, the use of fur has crept back into fashion, and the industry has broadened its consumer base by transcending new markets, particularly youth fashion and mainstream high street shops. A pair of fur-trimmed gloves can cost as little as a few dollars, and in many countries real fur does not even need to be labelled! Fur is now also increasingly being used to make toys for children and pets, ornaments, and even for interior design on items such as bedspreads and cushion covers.
How is fur produced?
Bobcats, coyotes, foxes, lynx, raccoons and wolves, are just some of the millions of wild animals caught every year using steel-jaw leghold traps, body-gripping traps, and wire neck snares, all of which are inhumane devices that inflict great pain and suffering.
In addition, because traps and snares are indiscriminate, an unquantifiable number of dogs, cats, deer, birds and other non-target species, including threatened and endangered animals, are also horrifically injured and killed every year.
Historically, trapping wildlife supplied most of the animals used in the fur trade, but in order to meet escalating demand, today’s $15 billion industry now relies on the mass factory farming of wild and domestic animals to produce the majority of the world’s fur. It is estimated that 85% of fur now comes from intensive factory farms around the world, resulting in the suffering of tens of millions of animals each year.
For more information on how fur is produced and what legislation currently exists to protect animals used in the industry, please read our ‘Ten things everyone should know about fur’ resource >>
What is being done to stop the cruel fur industry?
Animal protection groups around the world are campaigning tirelessly to stop the fur trade, conducting investigations to expose the inherent cruelty, harnessing the public’s voice calling for an end to the fur industry, and lobbying governments to implement bans prohibiting the production and trade in fur. And it’s working!
For example, soon after Russia announced a ban on the trade in fur from seals in 2011, Chinese animal advocates staged protests urging the Chinese government to reject Canadian seal fur trade proposals. Following this organised and effective campaign, China responded by postponing finalising a deal to import Canadian seal products, sending a clear message that "China is not a dumping ground for Canadian seal products.”
Fashion designers, consumers and companies are increasingly turning their backs on fur. In 2011 Oslo Fashion Week became the first fashion week to ban all fur from the catwalk, with support from internationally renowned designers as well as Norwegian Elle and Cosmopolitan magazines. Also, in South Korea, after an overwhelming number of complaints from animal protection groups and concerned members of the public, Seoul city officials instructed Fendi (an Italian high fashion house) to remove all fur pieces from their fashion show, threatening to cancel it entirely if they did not comply.
Each year anti-fur campaigners organise competitions such as Fur Free Fashion, known as ‘fffashion’ and ‘Design Against Fur’, to encourage forward-thinking designers to forgo using fur in their clothing ranges and to raise awareness of the cruelty involved in the fur trade.
What is CFAF doing to end the fur industry?
Change For Animals Foundation is working across Singapore in partnership with ACRES (Animal Concerns research and Education Society) and the Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to raise public awareness about the cruelty inherent in all fur production and to encourage supporters to urge retailers in the country to stop selling products containing fur. By ending the demand for fur, we can stop its production, and in doing so we can prevent the suffering of millions of animals every year.
What you can do to help
Never buy fur! If you aren’t sure if the fur on an item is fake, please don’t buy it. Remember to never assume that fur is fake just because it’s cheap. Please click here for more information on how to tell the difference between real and fake fur >>
Tell your family and friends about how fur is produced and ask them to never buy fur.
Please write to retailers that are still selling fur and politely request that they end their association with this cruel industry. By encouraging your local shops to adopt a fur-free policy, you can help bring an end to this terrible trade.
Buy products from shops which have pledged to be fur-free retailers – this means your money is going to a shop which sources products ethically and it will encourage other retailers to do the same.
Why should you write to retailers?
Retailers rely on their customers to stay in business, so you should let them know what you think they ought to sell.
Many retailers won’t necessarily know there’s a problem with the products they stock unless you speak up.
You won’t be alone – thousands of other concerned supporters are speaking up for the animals by contacting their local retailers around the world.
It works! In response to public pressure, many local and international retailers have already ceased selling fur and have put their fur-free commitment in writing by signing onto the international Fur Free Retailer programme.
For information on fur-free retailers in your country please visit the following websites:
Fur Free Retailer Scheme
HSUS’s list of Fur Free Retailers, Designers and Brands
Please let us know if you receive a response from any of the retailers you contact by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By encouraging local retailers to adopt a fur free policy we can help bring an end to this cruel industry
Click here to download a template letter that you can use to contact your local retailer and encourage them to adopt a fur free policy.
Change For Animals Foundation is a member of the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of animal protection organisations working to bring an end to the exploitation and killing of animals for their fur. The Fur Free Alliance represents millions of supporters from around the world and seeks to bring an end to the killing and exploitation of all animals for their fur by raising public awareness about the cruelty and negative environmental impacts associated with the global fur trade. Change For Animals Foundation actively supports the Fur Free Retailer program in Singapore by urging retailers to go fur free.
Copyright: Nettverk for dyrs frihet (Network for Animal Freedom)
Copyright: The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT)