Issues > Clothing > Animals > Fur
The wearing of furs has long been practised by humans to protect themselves from their environment or enact cultural rituals and practices. However, in today's world, fur production has mostly devolved into cruelly exploiting animals for a fashion statement. For example, producers have to end up to 50 animal lives just to produce one mink fur coat! Luckily, consumers and designers are starting to wake up to the ethical issues. While many fashion labels have gone fur free, there is still work to be done.
The majority of fur comes from animals raised on fur farms. On these farms, minks, foxes, rabbits, and many more are kept in tiny cages with little room for movement or normal functioning. The quality of life is very low in these cages. Animals often exhibit psychological distress and abnormal behaviours like self-mutilation, fur-chewing, and repetitive circling around the cage. The methods used to kill these animals are similarly cruel. They include gassing, anal electrocution, and suffocation. Can you really support an industry that puts millions of living beings through this every year?
The other main way fur is collected is through trapping. Most of the time, this involves laying traps in the wild that immobilise the animal until hunters can come and collect them. Although practices and regulations vary, common traps include steel-jaw leg-hold traps, wire snare traps, and underwater traps. Traps that aren't intended to kill the animal will leave them in pain until they are killed by their injuries, environmental conditions, or a hunter. Even traps intended to kill are usually not instant and leave them in pain before dying, such as those which drown or suffocate the animal. Another problem is that traps risk injuring or killing animals other than the target, including domesticated dogs and cats. This causes needless suffering and death and can be traumatic for families if their animal companion is accidentally harmed.
What you can do:
Avoid buying products containing fur. Be careful, some clothing contains a fur trim or other feature despite looking fur-free. Learn how to spot the difference between real and fake fur.
Boycott brands that use fur and support those that do not. Check Animals Australia's Fur Free Shopping List for retailers and designers with fur-free policies.