How to shop fur-free this holiday season

Nov 29, 2010

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 resurgence thanks to ever-cheaper production, largely in China, a growing international consumer base, and ignorance or indifference among the public about the suffering of animals farmed for fur.


One billion die annually

Every year, an estimated 60 million mink and 6.5 million foxes are killed on fur farms. 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 cruel.

Fur farm life >> (PDF)

WSPA investigation into the global fur trade >> (PDF)

No labeling system = more cruelty

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 animals 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.


Faux fur a faux pas?

Much-touted fake, or faux, fur also has no guarantee of being cruelty-free. It may even contain real fur because of no global labeling requirements as well as the ever-cheaper prices of real fur. As faux fur becomes more realistic-looking and real fur becomes harder to identify – because of increased use of dyes – WSPA has identified a few ways in which consumers can tell the difference between the two.

Download the fur sales template letter >> (DOC)

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