Victories on the road to a Fur-Free World

A global change in attitudes to fur started and has known an ongoing growth over the past few years. The global animal rights movement has made huge progress against the cruel fur trade and must continue to work for a fur-free world.

Worldwide departments, chain stores and major fashion designers are pledging not to use fur. Fur farms are closing down and fur farming is, or is about to be, outlawed in many countries. Worldwide, there is more and more legislation being considered, laws being passed, and regulations introduced restricting the fur trade.

Global awareness

The public is becoming increasingly aware of the reality of the fur trade, via leaflets, street campaigns, the media, Internet promotion and rallies. A rising number of compassionate celebrities are speaking up for animals by refusing to wear fur. Fashion designers and fashion students are now aware of the cruelty involved in the production of fur.

Over the years, international actions such as “Fur Free Friday” have taken place simultaneously, with more and more locations worldwide.

The number of fashion designers worldwide (including major names) pledging not to use fur is growing. Many department stores and major chain stores have adopted fur free policies and the number continues to increase.

Fur traders running out of arguments are now trying to promote their industry through praising an “eco-friendly” aspect in real fur. Many people are not fooled and realize how this production relies on the use of toxic chemicals.

Undercover investigations of mink and fox farms have brought critical attention to the fur industry in Norway. As a result, Oslo Fashion Week, the most important fashion event in Norway has adopted a fur free policy, so no fur can be seen on its catwalks.

Thanks to major public awareness campaigns against cruel seal hunts, driven by greed, their practice is beginning to decline. More countries are banning the import of seal products which will eventually make seal hunting economically unsustainable.

Changes in legislation

Several countries have already taken decisions against the fur industry:
- United Kingdom: Fur farms are forbidden since 2003
- Austria: Fur farming prohibited entirely under the Austrian Animal Welfare Act. There have been other provisions at federal state level, some of which amount to such high welfare requirements that fur farming has been made economically unsustainable.
- Croatia: A ban on fur farming has been introduced with a 10 year phase out starting from January 2007.
- Denmark: The Danish Parliament voted for a ban on fox farming with a phase-out period.
- Switzerland: High welfare standards state that fur animals can only be kept under restrictive conditions that make fur production economically unsustainable.
- All seal products are banned in the USA, Mexico and Croatia and it is now illegal to place commercial seal products on the market in all 27 countries of the EU. Russia is calling for an end of seal hunting.

Organizations and politicians work actively on getting laws passed in several countries. These are a few current projects:

- Canadian senator Mac Harb had proposed a bill to end the seal hunt in Canada.

- A few bills to ban the sales of fur in Israel, which were first initiated by MK Nitzan Horowitz and then taken over by MK Ronit Tirosh will likely make Israel the first fur free country! Right now, it has been temporarily delayed because of the new election. Also many Members of Parliament and politicians from all over the world have written letters of support in favor of the Israeli ground-breaking anti-fur bill.
- In Ireland, Cieran Perry proposed a motion to ban the import and sale of real fur which passed successfully in the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council. Fingal County Council also passed the same motion which was proposed by Cllr. David McGuinness: it passed unanimously gaining cross-party support. Other councils are likely to follow soon. A formal letter has also been written to the Irish government, asking for a review of the current legislation.
- The trendy, forward-thinking city of West Hollywood, California USA also turned to be the first fur-free city in the United States. West Hollywood became the capital of fur-free fashion!

Despite the amount of money invested by fur lobbies to force animal skins on consumers’ hands and backs, fur traders will never be able to stop the wave against the fur trade and animal exploitation!