Due to pressure by animal rights activists, combined with stricter environmental standards in Europe and in the U.S. there is increased public awareness about the ills of fur farming. This has created a serious threat and has decimated the number of fur farms in the last two decades.
For example, countries like Germany had approximately 300 farms in the late 80s and today has about 12 farms. Other countries, like Austria, had about 100 farms in the late 80s and today are free of fur farms. Even former strongholds like Denmark and the Netherlands are shattered by the changes. 10 years ago it seemed impossible to get a ban in the Netherlands (which is one of the biggest fur producers in the world), but now fox farms are banned and there will be an end to the nearly 200 farms in the small country through stricter legislation. The fur industry is trying to strike back and reclaim its ground The attempt to label fur as “origin assured” or to pose transparency with smiling farmers holding their minks, are weak strategies against the strong undercover investigations exposing the conditions of fur farming. But there is a dark side to this success story. The fur industry has gone to the east. Poland was the first big stop for western fur farmers on the run. Dutch investors built huge new mink farms. The same happened in America, where the industry created hideouts in “far away” areas like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada.
The final stop of the fur industry is China. The Chinese fur industry has skyrocketed in the last few years. With little to no regulation and no civil resistance and freedom of speech, the industry thrives. But, the fur industry is in a trap. The horrible standards of Chinese fur farms have ruined the quality of the furs because they “harvest” two times each year – this cheap mass production is ruining fur prices worldwide. To top this off, fish required for the mink feed is nearly wiped out. The feed threat may be decisive. In the past, whole fur industries went down the moment cheap feed sources dried out (soviet union). So, the fur industry has arrived at its last border in its 30 year run: The Pacific Ocean. They desperately try to promote “tiny” fur trimmings and applications, to show that “fur is back”. This is giving the impression that fur has made a comeback.
European Investigator, Journalist
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