A mind-boggling number of animals are bred and killed for their fur each year – more than 110 million on factory fur farms and 16+ million trapped in the wild worldwide – with the global industry worth £11 billion.
A huge variety of animal species are killed for their fur including mink, foxes, rabbits, sable, chinchillas, beavers, lynx, seals, raccoons, coyotes, muskrats, wolves, otters, and even cats and dogs.
Mink are the most commonly farmed species. Over 75 million animals are killed every year, with this semi aquatic mammal denied their most basic need – access to water in which to swim.
Europe is a major producer of fur with 5,000+ farms and providing nearly half of the global supply. Denmark and Poland are the highest producers on the continent and the number of animals killed in these two countries is increasing.
On a fur farm, animals live in small bare wire mesh cages; unable to perform their most natural of behaviours they suffer mental and physical harm. When just months old terrified animals face a cruel death by electrocution or gassing; these intelligent, feeling beings, killed for an unnecessary product.
It can take up to 35 foxes to make a fur coat. Foxes have retained all their wild instincts and needs despite decades of breeding by humans and a life in captivity.
Most fur is used to adorn clothing and for accessories such as trim on coat hoods or pom poms on handbags. The cost of fur items can be very cheap and with a lack of labeling can dupe consumers into thinking real fur products are fake.
74% of the public are opposed to fur in the UK but even savvy shoppers can be conned into buying the real thing. A number of investigations have shockingly revealed real fur items being sold as fake.
Sixteen countries, mostly in Europe, have bans on fur farming in place. The UK was one of the first countries to introduce a ban in 2000. Despite no longer having any fur farms of its own, the UK is one of Europe’s largest fur exporters.
Fur is never humane. When you buy real fur, you buy cruelty. To find out how you can help victims of the fur trade visit ad-international.org/fur.
All images by Animal Defenders International.