No to fur

Archive for January, 2010

Fur industry: Is the end in sight?

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on January 20, 2010

Crosspost: empathy for animals blog

Is the end in sight for the fur industry? The most cruel and superfluous industry in existence has been targeted by both animal rights AND animal welfare groups (such as the RSPCA) for decades. And – especially within the EU – more and more cracks are appearing in this international framework of organized animal cruelty. Fur production has been banned in Ireland, Scotland, England, Austria, Croatia (not even a member state of the EU), … partial fur bans already exist in traditional fur producing countries such as Holland, Denmark and Sweden.

The recent fur fashion ‘outings’ and extravagancies by celebs is supposedly bringing back fur, but to me it is now clear that the end is coming for this cruel and disgusting business.

Why am I so convinced? Well, in the wake of recent animal welfare scandals on scandinavian fur farms, an investigation was conducted by Danish officials, and the results of this investigation proves what animal activists have been saying. Yes, officials are agreeing with activists as far as I can gather.

So, now nobody can deny it: it isn’t isolated, it isn’t staged, sure as hell the animal activists didn’t ‘torture’ the animals themselves to make pictures of it and blame it on ‘innocent breeders’… or any of that other crazy nonsense.

Here is an intersting article (in danish): mink suffer on fur farms

If you want to read it in full, use google translate (or learn danish :D). I will translate only a segment:

På de farme, vi har besøgt, har jeg set mange eksempler på grov og uansvarlig behandling af dyrene, og avlere, som ikke følger enkle lovkrav, der skal forbedre minkenes velfærd, siger ledende dyrlæge for veterinærrejseholdet, Flemming Marker, til avisen.

Summary: On the visited farms, many animals were found that were treated in an unresponsible manner. Breeders were found not to follow the law that was put in place to improve the welfare of mink (according to Flemming Marker).

The article also stated that the animals were clearly suffering and seemed to agree with the picture painted by animal activists of fur farms.

I think it is great that officials in a traditional fur country are speaking out against the practices in fur farms. This – to me – is a clear sign that we are heading in the right direction (to bad for fur fashionistas and designers).

Even better is that countries such as Norway and Danmark are supposed to produce the best fur in regards to animal welfare (and don’t forget the so-called ‘origin assured label’). Any honest, right thinking person cannot dismiss the facts: fur is cruel. The facts and reports are out there. Animal welfare activists are against it, animal rights activists are against it and even more and more vets and officials seem to be calling out the sector.

I hope this will one day happen in countries like the USA or Canada, where – as far as I can gather – the laws and control measures put in place, are far more lax than here in the European Union. What do you think? Is this the beginning of the end for fur? Or shouldn’t we be celebrating just yet?

If you would like more information about the recent fur industry scandals in Denmark and Norway, I’ve written a post about it some time ago with much more information: Minkbreeders charged with animal abuse

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Fur: minkbreeders charged with animal abuse

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on January 20, 2010

Crosspost: Danish minkbreeders charged with animal abuse

Last week I made a post about the ‘battle’ between animal welfare / animal rights advocates and the fur trade. Recently Ireland banned the breeding of animals for fur and joined other European countries such as Croatia or England. The last few months gruesome images of the fur trade sparked a ferocious debate in Norway and Denmark (Denmark already banned the breeding of foxes for fur). Animal activists literally crawled over fences in both Norway and Denmark to be able to document the real conditions in which the animals live day to day (so no announced visits like you see on the news).

You can find my previous post here: hope for the future

If you haven’t read it yet: do so now…and see with you own eyes how the fur industry responds to criticism (like putting out a bounty on animal activists and such).

The images were made by animal activists of animal rights group Anima in cooperation with Danish TV2 and Extra Bladet. After the images were aired it apparently became clear to the authorities that this could not continue any longer. And yes: fur breeders are being charged for animal abuse.

The fur industry tried everything they could to stop the broadcast of the documentary on TV2…and of course they seize the opportunity to claim how well their animals are being taken care of, never forgetting to mention how extreme and dangerous those vegetarian/vegan animal rights activists really are (fur folk love to do that to divert attention I guess).

But what seems to work in Canada or the US didn’t work here in Europe.

According to the Danish newspaper ‘Politiken’:

De 34 avlere, som blev afsløret i dyremishandling, talte blandt andre Dansk Pelsdyravlerforenings formand, Erik Ugilt Hansen.

So, 34 breeders were charged with animal abuse…among others the chairman of the fur breeders association Erik Ugilt Hansen.

If you read some Danish, you can read it all here: Politiken article on fur

I hope these images and the discussions it will spark in Denmark and other countries will wake up some people to the reality of this unnecessary and cruel product.

Don’t wear fur: You don’t need it to keep warm, you don’t need it to look good (and since when is that an excuse?), you won’t die because you aren’t wearing fur (animals will, for nothing)…

Here is some more information about the hideous conditions in which fur bearing animals live (danish): fur

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The fight against the fur industry

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on January 20, 2010

In Europe a battle is waging…the struggle between ethics and empathy on the one hand and profits, cruelty and indifference on the other. The last few years have been hard for animal activists, but not without result. Recently Ireland became yet another european nation that banned fur production: Ireland bans fur
Ireland now joined countries such as England, Scotland, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, …

The struggle against fur is also mounting in traditionally pro fur countries such as Norway or Danmark. Recently Danmark outlawed the breeding of foxes for fur out of ethical concerns, and now the fur industry is again feeling threatened. Danish TV2 plans to air images taken of 32 different Danish fur breeders showing the deplorable conditions in which the animals live, newspaper Extra Bladet will also do an exposé. And just like in the US, the fur industry is going beserk. Norwegian Animal Rights group Nettverk for dyrs frihet (network for animal freedom) made a fitting post about it on their blog. (If you just happen to read norwegian, here it is: Danish minkbreeders panicking

Basically Danish fur breeders are trying everything to counter the truth about their bloody business. They issued a ‘bounty'(crazy right?) for information about the people who took the images of the minkfarms,they linked the footage to illegal activities (releasing of minks in the area) … and more of the same Shenanigans that also happen regulary in the US or Canada. But here comes the good part…Extra Bladet is actually defending the cause of the animals and is fighting back. Even better: journalist Miki Mistrati openly declared that the fur industry is just trying to divert attention from the terrible conditions in which the animals live.

Now why do I find this so exciting and important? Well, for starters this means that we are making progress and that opinions and views are shifting in our society. More so here in the EU then in the US (example: only +- 40% of US citizens are against fur). The climate is also quite different. I have never observed american/canadian reporters defend animal activists, causes or groups (or at least not as explicit as we get here).

What does all of this mean? For one thing: things are looking up for the animals. Now that fur is being tackled even in traditionally pro fur nations, vegetarianism/veganism is on the rise too. In Danmark alone the Danish vegetarian union doubled their memberships. In Ghent and other cities here in Belgium we know have one vegetarian day a week,… I can keep on going like this for quite some time. This tells me that there is hope for the future, and that a step by step approach is helping society evolve.

But what puzzles me is this: how come we don’t see such results in Canada, Australia or the US? This is where you come in. I want to know. What do you think is the major difference between the animal activism and the ‘climate’ in Europe and the US/Canada or Australia. I often wonder about these things and I honestly find it staggering that with so much work and effort, there is so little result. What do you think: How come? Is a different strategy needed for certain countries? Are some countries just hopeless causes? Did something go wrong? Does the opposition (special interest groups) have more power or influence in certain countries and how do we stop them?

This post was crossposted on the vegansoapbox and appeared originally at the empathy for animals blog

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