The global fur trade is big business and worth around US$ 22 billion.1 Despite the tsunami of brands pledging to steer clear of fur, and the huge risks the fur industry brings to containing virus outbreaks like COVID, brands such as Fendi and Max Mara continue to sell it all around the world. Fur is also an incredibly cruel business that sees millions of foxes, minks, raccoon dogs, rabbits and other species kept in horrific conditions and brutally slaughtered for their fur every year.
95% of fur comes from animals that have suffered their entire lives in factory farms where they experience horrific cruelty and extreme stress, fear and suffering throughout their short lives.
- Small, dirty, and barren cages make it impossible for animals to move freely and to express their normal behaviour.
- Deformities are common and wounds are left untreated and quickly become infected.
- Out of stress and frustration, animals display abnormal behaviours such as fur chewing and self-injury.
- Handling methods include beating, strangling, and dragging animals.
- Cruel slaughter methods include gassing, electrocution, breaking the neck and in the worst case skinning animals alive.
- Selective breeding of ‘monster foxes’ for pathological obesity to maximise the size of their pelt.
For those animals trapped in the wild, the horrific use of steel-jaw leghold traps, body-gripping traps, underwater traps, and wire neck snares inflict extreme pain and suffering to animals. Animals may suffer for days, or die through blood loss, thirst, starvation, or predation before the hunter returns to check on the trap.
Fox suffering in a fur farm in Finland
All so that someone can wear their fur.
All this suffering is completely indefensible. It is also completely unnecessary.
But there is hope.
What are we doing?
The fur free movement has made remarkable progress in recent decades. Over 1,500 fashion labels, including Prada, H&M, Gucci and Adidas, for example, have committed to being fur-free as part of the international Fur Free Retailer Program and major cities and fashion events taking a stand against fur.
In the EU, Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Estonia have already banned fur farming; outside the EU, the United Kingdom, Norway, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Japan have also banned fur production. In other countries, legislative proposals to ban fur farming are currently being considered or have already been announced. In Germany and Switzerland, the husbandry requirements are so high that fur farming would be unprofitable. In 2021, Israel became the first country in the world to ban the fur trade. Previously, the US state of California had already enacted such a ban, as well as several other US cities. Read more on global fur bans.
FOUR PAWS was born out of a determination to end fur farming – and this determination has only grown. We continue to support the highly successful Fur Free Retailer programme and, through our Wear it Kind programme, we are building a global movement of people, brands and designers committed to ensuring that no animal suffers in the name of fashion.
FOUR PAWS and Fur Free Alliance successfully call on luxury fashion brand Prada to go-fur free
“Our organisation emerged when we opposed fur farms in Austria, more than a quarter of a century ago.”
Heli Dungler, founder of FOUR PAWS
How can you help?
- Take the Wear it Kind pledge and commit to never wearing animal fur.
- Be wary of faux fur as it’s increasingly common for animal fur to be mislabelled as faux fur. See our guide to telling the difference or, if unsure, simply avoid it altogether.
- Sign our petition to ban the sale of fur in Victoria and New South Wales.
- Retailers respond to consumer pressure so speak, or write, to the management of any store selling fur.
- Find Fur Free Retailers, and use our Wear it Kind shopping guide to help you make animal-friendly fashion choices.