Animal cruelty in general is on the increase worldwide with protection agencies reporting an upsurge of over 60% in the US and Europe year on year. One contradictory aspect of animal welfare which is often forgotten about is the fur trade – the collection of animals traditionally found in the wild to be made into coats, gloves, hats and scarves. So much focus is rightly put on rescuing abused dogs and cats domestically, it is easy to overlook that animal cruelty is on the increase in the fur trade.
Many people don’t associate the United States with the Fur Trade, as many farms are able to operate and remain concealed from the general public. In recent years, organizations like the Coalition Against Fur Farms have uncovered at least 400 operating fur farms. None of the farms need to comply with any regulations as there are no federal laws in place to monitor how animals are housed, cared for or killed.
Animals on fur farms in the United States are commonly killed by anal electrocution while others have their neck or ribs broken. The form of euthanasia varies greatly depending on location and the species being farmed, but the most cost effective forms of euthanasia are certainly not humane.
The Fur Commission, a U.S.-based non-profit that represents mink farmers, disputes these claims and affirms that fur farms, specifically mink farms, adhere to the methods recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association: euthanasia by pure carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide chambers. In reality, gas chambers are neither quick nor humane.
The Fur Commission and all those in favor of fur farms continue to advocate on behalf of their “family run businesses,” alleging animal rights organizations have an agenda to increase donations and maliciously attack their family farms with feeble claims of abuse and neglect. However, attempts to defend fur farms are almost always shattered as a never ending slew of undercover investigations have documented the cruel reality for animals that are unfortunate enough to be born or taken to these places.
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What do you think? Should the fur trade be banned worldwide?
Note: The video below by PETA contains graphic imagery