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Fur Trapping and Factory Fur Farming Q&As

Questions and Answers about Fur: The use of fur by the fashion industry raises many moral and technical questions. Is it humane? Sustainable? Environmentally friendly? The answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about the fur industry can be found in this fact sheet. For more information, download the Anti-Fur PDF brochure. Seal PDF Brochure.

Caged Mink
Caged Fur, the Inside Story: More than 30 million animals worldwide are raised in cages and killed each year for their fur. Not only are cage-raised animals killed inhumanely, but they suffer from numerous physical and behavioral abnormalities induced by the stress of caging conditions. The Humane Society of the United States is strongly opposed to raising animals in cages and killing them for fur apparel and accessories. Synthetic fabrics that are warmer and lighter than fur have eliminated the need for fur apparel. For more information, download the full PDF.

 Trapping, the Inside Story:
 Four million wild animals are killed in the United States each year by 160,000 part-time trappers who supply pelts to the fashion industry. A decade ago the situation was even worse: 17 million wild fur-bearing animals were killed by 300,000 trappers. Urban sprawl and the public's revulsion to trapping and wearing fur are responsible for the decline. Still, four million animals trapped for fashion is four million too many; it's a fact that puts the United States among the top three producers (along with Canada and Russia) of wild-caught animal pelts. The Humane Society of the United States strongly opposes the commercial and recreational trapping of wild animals for their fur. Traps are inhumane devices that inflict great pain and suffering, both to the target animals and to unintended victims such as pets and endangered species. To read our fact sheet on "Trapping: The Inside Story," download the PDF.

Mary Wore A Little Lamb: The Truth behind Karakul Lamb Fur. Look in any fashion magazine and you're likely to see it: a glossy, curly, flat fur that sometimes looks like crushed velvet. It may appear as trim on collars or cuffs or as a complete jacket, coat, or other garment. And it's known by a host of names—karakul lamb, broadtail or Persian lamb. What isn't commonly known is that the fur is the product of extreme cruelty.
    Learn all the facts about karakul sheep and the fur produced by their lambs. Find out what myths the fur industry is setting forth and find out the truth. For more information, download the full PDF.

How Do Fur Animals Die? The fur industry kills millions of animals each year for their fur. How does the industry do it? The 16 species most commonly killed in the United States, the number of each species killed each year, and the methods most commonly used to kill them are shown in this chart. For more information, download the PDF.

A Little Bit of Fur Is Big Business

Fur is fatal, no matter how it's cut.

The fur industry is working on a whole new line. No longer limited to full-length mink coats or fox-fur jackets, fur trim is the rage. From suit collars to glove linings, fur trim is being used as an accessory for many fashion items. Fur-trimmed items currently are a half billion-dollar industry.

Fur trim is a frivolous luxury responsible for the deaths of millions of animals each year. The number of animals killed for fur trim is expected to overtake the number of animals killed for full-fur garments. Because the trim trade doesn't place as much emphasis on pelt quality, color, and uniformity, the quality of care given to furbearers is diminished.

Fashion to Die For

Although some consumers may brush off fur trim as less harmful to animals, that little bit of fur is just as deadly as the fur required for an entire coat. Fur trim is not made from scraps of leftover fur. An animal dies for each fashion item, whether fur trimmed or full length. And that death isn't pretty.

Trapped animals endure excruciating pain before they die or are clubbed to death by the trapper. Moreover, because there are no laws in the United States regulating the handling or killing of cage-raised, fur-bearing animals, these creatures are killed cost-effectively, not necessarily humanely. Common killing methods include asphyxiation with automobile exhaust, neck breaking, or electrocution.

Nearly all the foxes raised on fur farms end up as coat trimmings. Other animals typically used for trims include mink, chinchilla, raccoon, coyote, finraccoon (a wild Asian species related to the dog), lamb, and rabbit. And in 1998, an HSUS investigation revealed that dogs and cats were being killed in Asia and their fur sewn into trimmings and accessories. While new federal legislation bans the import, export, and sale of dog and cat fur products in the United States, illicit items may still be making their way into this country.

Real Fur or Faux?

Fur trim has permeated the retail market—it can be found in fashion boutiques and in discount department stores, and many of these stores sell both real fur and faux fur. A compassionate consumer may be confused by the low-end fur trims and the high-end faux furs.

Labeling isn't necessarily the answer, either. Because a label doesn't say "fur," don't assume it is synthetic. Look down into the fabric to see if the hairs are attached to skin (animal fur) or fabric (faux). If you aren't sure, don't buy it—and let the store know why. Or better yet, ask the store not to carry fur at all. Compassion has pushed full-fur garments to the fringe of the fashion industry. Now it is time to get rid of the trimmings. Download our brochure.

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