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Fur


Not many people in western countries would buy a fur coat or jacket anymore these days, knowing that animals raised on fur farms or caught with steel traps in the wild endure agony. But don't be fooled, the fur industry is still thriving. Not only has it found new markets in China, Russia and South Korea, also in Australia fur is more prevalent than most people realise. A fur collar on the hood of a trendy winter jacket or the small furry bobble on a chic winter hat is not always faux. The amount of real fur 'hidden' in modern fashion in this way requires a staggering number of animals to suffer and die.

 


Mink cramped in a cage on a fur farm.
© FOUR PAWS | Fred Dott

Fur farms and wildlife traps

85 percent of fur traded globally comes from animals forced to live in small wire cages on fur farms. The cages are devoid of anything that is natural to them and they are denied the opportunity to perform most of their instinctive behaviour. At the end of their short lives, their death – by electrocution, gassing or neck breaking – is as cruel as their keeping.

 

But also when the animals are caught in the wild their suffering is unimaginable. Steel-jaw leghold traps, body-gripping traps, underwater traps and wire neck snares are used to trap animals in nature. It can take many days before the hunter comes back to check on a trap. This means that the trapped animal is left to suffer injury, pain and anxiety for a long time. They can die from blood loss, thirst, starvation or predation. Wildlife traps are not selective, which means that 'unwanted' animal species, including domestic dogs and cats, also fall victim to fur hunters. Fur simply has no ethical side to it.


A fox on a fur farm
© FOUR PAWS

Fur is not an eco product

To make the raw animal skins suitable for fashion, heavily toxic chemicals such as chromium and formaldehyde are used to keep them from rotting. This causes pollution of soil and waterways. Many fur farmers and processors have been fined for releasing toxic waste into the environment.

 

It is well-known that animal farming creates a lot of greenhouse gasses, which contribute to climate change. This is mostly due to the production of feed required for the farmed animals and emissions from manure. Therefore, fur farms with their millions of caged animals also contribute to climate change.

 

Claims that fur is a natural and sustainable product are thus fiction instead of reality. The production of fur is intensely polluting and requires a lot of energy.

 


Don't trust product labels

If you want to avoid buying real animal fur, unfortunately you can't always rely on product labels. Labelling laws in Australia are insufficient and fur products are not always labelled. Real fur can also falsely be labelled as faux. Our advice is to play it safe and don't buy it when you are not a hundred percent convinced that it is artificial fur.


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