Nov 25, 2010
The annual global event, taking place since 1986, is one of most widely-attended annual demonstrations of the animal welfare movement. It aims to educate people about the cruelty of fur production through protests, education and the promotion of cruelty-free fashion.
Held every year on Black Friday – which marks the beginning of the busiest shopping period of the year – worldwide actions are held in multiple countries. The event seeks to educate consumers about the extent of cruelty endured by the 1 billion animals killed annually, mainly on farms, but also in the wild with traps.
Fur farms now produce about 85% of the world’s fur, of which China – with no legal animal welfare protection and appalling conditions for farmed animals – is now responsible for four-fifths of pelt (fur) production. After a downturn in the industry years ago, fur is now enjoying a renaissance thanks to ever-cheaper production, (largely in China), a growing world consumer base with more disposable income, and ignorance or indifference among the public about the suffering of fur trade animals.
Every year, an estimated 60 million mink and 6.5 million foxes are killed on fur farms alone. If rabbits are included, the number of animals killed every year solely for their fur may far exceed one billion. Cats and dogs are also commonly used in Chinese fur production. Conditions at the farms and methods of killing the animals are always intrinsically cruel.
Apart from a lack of protection on fur farms for the overwhelming majority of animals killed for their pelts, or for those trapped in the wild, there is also no requirement to label the origin – or even species – of the animal used in a product. The impossibility of tracing a pelt’s origin fuels the culture of unaccountability and adds to the cruelty of the global industry.