Inside China’s Shocking Treatment of Animals for Fashion & Fur

Inside China’s Shocking Treatment of Animals for Fashion & Fur

Are you aware that over 100 million animals, including mink, fox, raccoon dog, chinchilla, and rabbit, are killed each year for their fur? These innocent creatures are typically born into cramped and filthy conditions on fur farms in China, where they will live out their short lives in tiny battery cages.

Heartbreaking footage captured by investigators shows baby foxes, raccoon dogs, and minks struggling to survive in these inhumane conditions, while older animals exhibit behaviors of psychological distress, such as repetitively pacing their tiny cages.

It’s been 20 years since the UK banned fur farming on ethical grounds, yet over £800 million worth of fur has been imported into Britain since then. In the last five years alone, over £28 million of it has come from China. This is despite a poll conducted in 2022 finding that 77% of Brits say the government should ban the importation of animal products, such as fur, where the production methods are already banned in the UK.

The Daily Mirror and Humane Society International/UK are leading the #FurFreeBritain campaign, which has so far gathered over 1.1 million petition signatures calling on the UK to ban fur imports and sales. TV wildlife presenter and campaigner Chris Packham described the suffering of animals on Chinese fur farms as “like a scene from hell” and one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he has witnessed.

Claire Bass, senior director of campaigns and public affairs at Humane Society International/UK, said “Many Britons will be horrified to find out that it is perfectly legal for fur from farms like those we investigated to be sold in Britain.” She added, “A fur sales ban has the backing of over three quarters of the public, and should be an open goal for this Government to deliver on its ambition to be a world leader in animal welfare.”

It’s not mandatory to state the country of origin of fur items on sale in the UK, so many carry no such details. But a recent investigation by HSI/UK found items labeled as Chinese fur on sale in Harrods and Harvey Nichols. A spokesperson for the British Fur Trade Association said that no fur sold in the UK comes from China, but from certified sources that accord to strict welfare conditions. However, Bass hit back, saying “The claim that no fur sold in the UK comes from China is absolutely ludicrous, it’s simply untrue.”

The truth is, wherever in the world fur farming happens, animals are suffering the same tormented lives in tiny cages. Recent fur farm investigations in Finland found animals with gaping wounds and missing limbs, blinded by eye infections, as well as cannibalism, suffering every bit as disturbing as the investigations reveal in China.

After Life star Ricky Gervais, 61, said “20 years ago, the UK became the first country to ban cruel fur farming. But now it still has blood on its hands by allowing fur imports. That’s millions of animals still suffering for fur fashion that’s sold here.

So my message to the UK Government is simple: end this double standard and ban fur imports.”
In 2021 (the latest year figures are available for), 27,060,000 animals – foxes, minks, and raccoon dogs – were killed for fur production in China.

This article by Nicholas Vincent was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 25 March 2023. 

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