Dear EarthTalk: How is the fur industry doing these days? Has it been impacted by activism from PETA and similar groups? -- Clara Andrews, Edmonds
An accurate source of up-to-date numbers is hard to come by, but it's safe to say that the fur industry has been hurt by the ongoing and visible anti-fur campaign -- sometimes featuring top supermodels -- by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal rights groups.
Whether or not activist efforts are the cause, the governments of the United Kingdom and Austria have banned fur farming in their countries altogether, while the Netherlands has phased out fox and chinchilla farming.
The U.S. has not taken any action against the industry, but the number of mink farms in the U.S. has plummeted from 1,027 in 1988 to fewer than 300 today, according to Weekly International Fur News.