Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals living captive in fur factory farms. These farms can hold thousands ofanimals, and their farming practices are remarkably uniform around the globe. As with other intensive-confinement animal farms, the methods used in fur factory farms are designed tomaximize profits, always at the expense of the animals.
Painful and Short Lives
The most commonly farmed fur-bearing animals are minks, followed by foxes. Chinchillas, lynxes,and even hamsters are also farmed for their fur. Seventy-three percent of fur farms are in Europe, 12 percent are in North America, and the rest are dispersed throughout theworld, in countries such as Argentina, China, and Russia. Mink farmers usually breed female minks once a year. There are about three or four surviving kittens in each litter, andthey are killed when they are about 6 months old, depending on what country they are in, after the first hard freeze. Minks used for breeding are kept for four to five years. Theanimals who are housed in unbearably small cages live with fear, stress, disease, parasites, and other physical and psychological hardships, all for the sake of an unnecessaryglobal industry that makes billions of dollars annually.
Rabbits are slaughtered by the millions for meat, particularly in China, Italy, and Spain. Once considered a mere byproductof this consumption, the rabbit-fur industry demands the thicker pelt of an older animal (rabbits raised for meat are killed at the age of 10 to 12 weeks). The United Nationsreports that countries such as France are killing as many as 70 million rabbits a year for fur, which is used in clothing, as lures in flyfishing, and for trim on craft items.