Research shows that a majority of fur farm animals live out their lives in cramped conditions before suffering a violent and painful death. These poor animals need your help; choose cruelty-free fashion, and pass the message on to your friends.
Today with advances in clothing technology there are alternatives to fur that provide better protection from the elements. There is simply no need to use and abuse animals to produce what are only vanity items.
Hong Kong is one of the global centres of a trade that affects fifty million animals, including an estimated two million dogs and cats, every year. Current estimates are that 20% of the world’s fur-related exports originate from our territory.
Fur is Cruel
Investigations have consistently found fur farm animals imprisoned in tiny cages. Many exhibit abnormal behaviours such as self-mutilation and cannibalisation of their young as a result of the extreme stress of captivity. At the end of their unhappy lives they also face being skinned alive, strangled, gassed, drowned, electrocuted or beaten to death.
Contrary to popular belief, the condition of how the animal is kept has little bearing on the quality of fur. In other words, good quality fur does not mean good animal welfare.
Fur is not Green
The fur industry is trying to re-brand itself as eco-friendly. Far from being a “natural” and environmentally friendly choice, the fur industry requires toxic chemicals such as chromium, formaldehyde and naphthalene to stop the pelts from rotting. They require up to 60 times more energy to process than manufacturing synthetic fur.
Labels Cannot be Trusted
There is no guarantee that furs are truthfully labelled. Presently, furs from mainland farms and re-exported from Hong Kong furriers are not inspected or regulated by law. Dog and cat fur are commonly disguised as higher-end fur products such as fox. Cat fur has been found to be mislabelled as rabbit fur.
Do Not Trust “Fake Fur”
An investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed that even well-known brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan were unaware that some fake fur trim they use was actually dog fur.
The Burn Test
To check if the fur you have is real or fake:
- Take a few strands from your garment and carefully set them alight.
- If the fur is of animal origin, the tip of the fur should crumble as it burns, and smell like burning hair.
- If the fur is fake, the tip should burn and curl up into a hard ball, with a synthetic odour.
Never wear fur or fur-trimmed products, and pass the message to your friends. If you suspect that a fake fur product that you have bought contains real fur, please contact the Consumer Council.