Response to National Geographic’s “Why Fur is Back in Fashion”
The Fur Free Alliance is greatly dismayed that the story ‘Why Fur Is Back in Fashion’ (National Geographic, September 2016) does not fully reflect the often cyclical – boom and bust – nature of the international fur industry and, instead, presents the National Geographic readers with a most unsubstantiated and unbalanced view on the increasingly disputed practice of fur farming.
The article gives the impression that fur production is now at record levels quoting a figure of 84 million mink killed in fur factory farms in 2015 for their fur. As is pointed out, recent increases in demand for fur in Russia and China led to a dramatic increase in the price of a mink pelt at auction – the industry benchmark. But this led to enormous overproduction and an almost inevitable slump.
The Chronicle Herald in Canada (4 August 2016) recently reported that mink pelts that had previously fetched $100 were being sold ‘for only $40 last year and are now going for about $30.’
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Richard Conniff concludes with the idea: ‘Instead of banning fur production, keep applying pressure to push out the worst farmers.’ While this sounds reasonable at first glance, this recommendation gravely ignores the serious, insurmountable welfare issues inherent to the industry.
Keeping and killing tens of millions of wild animals each year in tiny, barren wire cages for nothing more than the fur off their backs is offensive and wrong. It is surely time for us as a civilised society to consign this cruel practice to the dustbin of history.