The fur industry is responsible for the intense suffering of over a billion animals every year. Animals that die to produce non-essential luxury and increasingly non-luxury fashion items include rabbits (reportedly 92% of fur animals are rabbits, ie. almost one billion), foxes, mink, raccoons, seals, wolves, coyotes squirrels, cats and dogs.
Did you know 85 per cent of animals used to produce fur are commercially farmed? Small barren cages with injury causing wire floors individually house animals to keep the pelt undamaged but production costs low and profits high.
Confined, alone and suffering from ongoing stress, these animals often develop abnormal behaviours as they are unable to cope with their surroundings. Running, burrowing and playing is replaced with repeated weaving or circling, in fact some animals are not even able to experience daylight.
The cruelty does not end there. The lives of these animals are cut short by horrific methods of slaughter, including electrocution and live skinning. These methods preserve the pelt but cause unimaginable pain and suffering.
To combat this industrial-scale cruelty, WSPA supports the world’s biggest anti-fur coalition: the Fur Free Alliance; the largest international anti-fur coalition. With the new millennium seeing a resurgence of fur in fashion, you can do your part to help us prove that cruelty is not fashionable – check out the bottom of this page to find out what you can do.
Fox and rabbit fur sold in Australia does not come from “pest” foxes and rabbits. The pelts simply are not of appropriate quality. About 80% of all fur produced worldwide is now farmed in China and about 75% of fur sold in Australia originates from China.
Labeling can be misleading. In reality fur products are untraceable. All types of fur can be imported into Australia and the International Fur Trade Federation’s ‘Origin Assured’ label seeks to make fur farming respectable, but beware! Non-existent or weak import labeling regulations mean that in reality, even if the product has been marked to identify the country it has been manufactured in, the source of fur is untraceable. Recently in Australia, confirmed real fur was even found labeled as “faux fur”!
There is no such thing as “ethical” fur. The concept of “high-welfare” or “green” fur is an industry marketing ploy. A number of investigations have produced significant evidence of animals being kept and killed in shocking conditions in supposed “ethical” fur farms. For example, in 2008, 2009 and 2010 fur farms in Norway, Denmark and Sweden were exposed for their inhumane treatment of animals. Fur farms also generate large amounts of animal waste, while processing facturies use chemicals toxic to workers and the environment.
Fur trim is as cruel as a fur coat. The majority of animals suffering and killed for fur end up in fur trim; a sector worth billions of dollars a year. These animals are often subjected to even worse mistreatment than those used to produce full coats, as smaller pieces of fur are needed and there is even less of a need to prevent injury, disfigurement and disease.
“Wild” fur is not cruelty free. While fur farms are intensely cruel, the shooting, clubbing, trapping and snaring of animals is not a humane alternative. Traps and snares are not instantly effective. They can lead to the crushing of tissue and bone , as well as self-trauma. In fact, most traps have been declared inhumane by veterinary associations and some Governments. “Wild caught” does not mean cruelty free.
The fur industry grows or declines in response to consumer demand and fashion trends. The power to stop fur production lies with you. It’s simple – here’s how to have a direct impact.
Avoid all fur products and stores selling fur. Don’t be fooled by labels! Fur can be found in fashion accessories and even pet toys. Dog and cat fur can even be described as “vintage” or “faux fur” to attract customers. Here are some tips for avoiding real fur. You can also learn how to distinguish between real and fake fur by watching this video.
Make sure your favourite shop is fur free; ideally carrying the Fur Free Fox Logo/sticker. If not fur free? WSPA Australia now supports the Consumers for Fur Free Retailers Scheme, which aims to build on the international list of approved retailers. Help us to respond and promote your favourite fur free retailers in Australia by contacting the Scheme’s Australian representative - KateBlaszak@wspa-asiapacific.org
Make your signature count! Israel has the chance to set a global precedent and be the first country to ban fur in its entirety. You can lend your support by signing this petition now.
Feeling creative? Vote or enter in the Design Against Fur annual competition for students around the world, or become the next fur free fashion designer!
Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about the issue and forward this information on.