The by 40″. These barren prisons, scarcely

The Facts about the Fur Trade

html How many animals are killed by the fur trade each year? Every year, over 50 million animals are killed so that their fur can be used by the fashion industry; that's more that 130,000 animals slaughtered every day just so that someone else can wear their coats. Worldwide, more than 30 million animals are bred and killed on intensive fur farms with a further 20 million trapped and killed in the wild.The fur industry goes to great lengths to hide the horrendous cruelty involved, but many undercover investigations have produced detailed evidence showing the terrible suffering of these animals, both in the way they are kept and in the way they are killed.How did fur farming originate?As wild populations of fur-bearing animals declined and disappeared due to trapping, animals were caught live in order to breed them in captivity. This originated in Canada at the beginning of the 20th century.

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Today, fur farms can be found across the world, with large numbers in Scandinavia, Russia and the USA.Which animals are bred for their fur?The two species most commonly bred for their fur are the North American mink and the arctic fox, although other animals including chinchillas, raccoons and rabbits are also used.How are the animals kept?Animals are kept in long rows of barren wire cages in open-sided sheds.

A typical cage for a mink measures 24" long by 10" wide, whilst an arctic fox will be confined in a cage measuring on average 40" by 40". These barren prisons, scarcely bigger than the animals themselves, is where they will spend their entire lives.How different is this to their lives in the wild?In the wild, both mink and foxes are predatory animals with complex behaviour patterns. Mink will roam over territories of up to 3 square kilometres and spend most of their time close to water. Foxes generally live in small family groups and arctic foxes are known to wander hundreds of kilometres from their place of birth.

On fur farms the natural instincts of these species are cruelly stifled from being incarcerated in barren cages. The stress and deprivation caused by these conditions often result in the animals performing unnatural repetitive behaviours and can lead to self-mutilation.Fur farms tend to follow a regular calendar. Animals are mated in February, give birth in May and offspring weaned at 6-7 weeks.

Unless they are kept for breeding purposes, most mink and foxes are killed in November at about 7-8 months of age when their pelts are in prime condition.How are the captive animals killed?Most mink are killed by gassing or lethal injection. Some are clubbed to death or have their necks broken. Foxes are most commonly electrocuted; one electrode is inserted into the animal's rectum and another into its mouth. The fox generally does not lose consciousness for between one and two minutes, and animals may later revive only to have to then undergo this cruelty again. The main reason for selecting these killing methods is to ensure that the fur is not damaged.

Those carrying out the killing need no training or qualifications.What about animals caught in the wild?Millions of the world's most beautiful fur-bearing animals are being systematically trapped and hunted in the wild for their skins. This trade has been responsible for the widespread decline in many species over the past two centuries and has resulted in the extinction of some others, including the sea mink and the Falkland Island fox. Beavers too were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century until reprieved by a change in fashion.In more recent times, big cats such as the leopard, tiger and jaguar were in danger of being wiped out until an international appeal succeeded in protecting them from the commercial fur trade.

However, few of these animals now remain in the wild and many are endangered. The thick fur of the snow leopard made it popular with the fur trade. In fact there may now be as few as 4,500 of these beautiful animals left in the high mountain regions of central Asia and the Himalayas.As the larger cat species became more scarce and increasingly protected, so the fur trade turned its attention to the smaller cats such as the ocelot, margay, lynx and little-known Geoffrey's cat.

These smaller cat species are now being trapped and hunted in large numbers.How are the wild animals caught?One of the most commonly used animal traps is the.

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