Fur or against? Should the use of real fur be illegal?

A chinchilla.

We have hunted fur bearing animals in the wild for many years and in the past few centuries, they have been raised on farms. Fur was an important trading item in Russian and North American history and today it’s a fashion statement.

Fur farms are generally preferred in the US as they ensure strict diets and breeding and consequently a high-quality pelt. However, China now holds an increasingly large part of the fur market. The pelt most commonly used is mink and fox.

Mink- a dark coloured, semi aquatic, carnivorous mammal.
A fox awaiting the same sad fate as its fellows skinned pelt, laying at its feet.

In the US there are very few US federal statutes regarding fur animals. Laws like Lacey Act or the Fur Seal Act and the Endangered Species Act deals with protecting wild animals, but the US does have a Fur Products Labelling Act, which provides that garments containing fur be properly labelled, and it has a Dog and Cat Fur Protection Act, which prohibits dog and cat fur trade in the US. This is due, in a large part to the alleged killing of dogs and cats in China for their fur.

Many states have laws on trapping animals. For example, they will have license requirements and legal hunting seasons.

International laws are diverse in strength, but some are much stronger than US federal and state laws. China has virtually no regulations to protect fur animals. Few countries have strictly regulated or completely banned fur farms, ( Austria, the UK, and Croatia have bans, the Netherlands has a ban on fox and chinchilla farming and New Zealand , Sweden and Switzerland have strict regulations) over 60 countries have banned certain types of traps and some countries have labelling laws. Israel outlaws the importation, exportation and sale of fur within its country lines.

There is a significant illegal fur trade, especially for tiger fur within Asia. CITES is an international agreement between over 175 nations that works to protect endangered and threatened species. While China has tiger farms, many other countries are working to eliminate poaching and increase law enforcement.

But China’s increasing role in the industry and its lack of regulations are the areas that need the most improvement in order to instil better treatment for fur animals.

The latest revelation is that Gucci has finally in the latter months of 2017 gone fur free.

The majority of fashion designers and retailers concede to there being no place for fur in the 21st century. But unfortunately there are still some large well known retailers who reinforce real fur.

Some of the following stars who confirm their stance on real fur:

50 Cents wearing a chinchilla coat.
Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015 – Lanvin – Outside Arrivals
Featuring: Rihanna
Where: Paris, France
When: 27 Feb 2014
Credit: SIPA/WENN.com

Amber Rose walking in Mayfair
London Fashion Week A/W 2011 – Celebrities
London, England – 22.02.11
Mandatory Credit: Zibi/WENN.com
Snoop Dog
Jennifer Lopez. Copyright Pinterest. Reuters.

In October 2017 and nothing less than two decades of public campaigning by PETA and other animal rights activists – Gucci chief executive officer, Mario Bizzarri announced that the Italian luxury brand was finally going fur free. Bizzarri confirmed that real fur is on its way out and the industry is dying.

Eighty-six percent of shows at London’s Fashion Week last year did not feature fur. Those that did, did it for news worthy controversy and the attention.

There is a growing list of designers and retailers who are fur free and have strict no-fur policies. However there are still a few designers who remain in a time warp- likened to cave people who refuse to embrace social change and create daring and innovative designs without harming animals. Such as Fendi, Dior, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and Karl Lagerfeld.

It was announced in the UK in December 2017 that Michael Kors was going fur free and it’s American luxury brand would phase out of his collection countrywide, including its recently acquired brand Jimmy Choo, animal fur products.

It succumbs to the changing consumer tastes and increasing pressure from animal rights activists, by looking at using innovative materials.

Michael Kors is quoted at saying that “due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur.” These he promises will be paraded in his upcoming runway show in February 2018.

However despite the number of brands announcing fur free policies- there is still a large number of collections maintaining a presence of fur in production of their designs. Arguably designers express that fur is given a breadth of creative possibilities and is natural and sustainable.

But I have to agree with Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) “Killing animals [soley] for fur is archaic and in humane.” What do you think?

8 thoughts on “Fur or against? Should the use of real fur be illegal?

    1. If fur has to take a positive steps to be dismantle it must come from the consumer and the celebrities that lavish in it, the hugely cost is deem to warrant the need by them. Some Countries has no concern only for the financial reward so it is important that government press this issues world wide for changes.

      1. Thanks Franklin. You are absolutely correct. It’s the law of economics- supply and demand. If we could dismantle the demand then there would be less need for supply. Keep up the pressure all anti-fur activists!

  1. That’s the problem with fashion and the length (that being years and after so much blood and slaughter) that is takes for fashion designers to finally concede to the in-necessity of real fur. Why has it taken so long for designers to ‘fashionably outlaw’ real fur. I suspect upon reading your post that it is partially due to a ‘trending’ pressure from the increasing vegan / vegetarian minded fashion victim; moreover, the added financial weight of the ‘animal executioner’. A convenient and cost saving excuse for the fashion designers for release the financial pressure valve, don’t you think? ….and the fact that faux fur is so much cheaper to weave. I suspect that money is the dominant force here not the moral or inhumane aspect . God help us if the influence of these celebrity ‘bloodcoat’ wearers set the fur ‘trend’ ablaze again. I will always maintain that the fur coat UNEQUIVOCALLY ALWAYS LOOKS BETTER ON ITS ORIGINAL OWNER. Well reported Antoinette!

    1. Hey Jeanette ??. One would like to think that if those fur wearers were enlightened as to the often cruel way that the animals are treated before their death, then they would spread the word to all their followers. Faux fur is where we should go and continue in the world of fashion.

  2. Thank you for the insight.
    We are slowly getting there, on being conscious in making wise decisions. I hope we will eventually stop yearning for this kind of fashion statement.

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