Mink on fur farms test positive for coronavirus, increasing urgency to end this brutal trade

By on May 8, 2020 with 8 Comments

Our fight against fur has gained incredible momentum in recent years, with major fashion houses and retailers shedding the cruelty of this completely unnecessary commodity. Now, with mink on two fur farms in the Netherlands testing positive for the coronavirus, we have one more compelling reason why this brutal trade needs to end for good.

The pandemic has been a grim reminder of the problems that can arise when we cruelly confine and mistreat animals. From the wildlife market in China where the coronavirus originated to slaughterhouses in the United States where it is spreading rapidly, there is no doubt that keeping animals packed together in cages with little or no regard for their health and well-being creates the perfect recipe for disaster.

According to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, disease risk is higher in operations like fur farms where animals are crowded into close contact with each other’s respiratory secretions and excrement. For example, foxes and raccoon dogs kept in close confinement have been found to be infected with viral diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

A Humane Society International investigation of a fur farm in Finland, the world’s second largest fox fur producer after China, showed hundreds of foxes and mink crammed in small, barren and filthy battery cages. Many of the animals had eye infections and gaping wounds, including a mink with a large, bloody hole in the head. Some animals lay dead in the cages and others ate them or walked over them.

At the end of their short, miserable lives, foxes on fur farms are anally electrocuted and the mink gassed to death. On Chinese fur farms, foxes and raccoon dogs are beaten to death and some are even skinned while still alive.

Although the demand for fur has dropped in recent years, the scale of this trade globally is still mind-boggling. For instance, fur makes up 75% of the wildlife trade in China, which is the world’s largest fur producer, as P.J. Smith, our campaign director for fashion policy, wrote in an oped this week. Over 100 million animals – including mink, rabbits, raccoon dogs, foxes and chinchillas—are still confined and brutally killed for their fur ever year, even though warm and stylish alternatives indistinguishable from animal fur are widely available.

In recent years, we have worked with some of the largest fashion houses, including Gucci, Prada, Armani, Michael Kors and Coach, and retailers, including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Farfetch and YOOX Net-a-Porter, to end sales of fur. California last year became the first U.S. state to ban fur, and we are working to pass similar bans in more states, including Rhode Island and Hawaii.

HSI has kept up the momentum against fur globally and in the United Kingdom, we spearheaded the campaign to make Britain the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur. More than a dozen European countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic and Norway, have since banned fur production. Netherlands, once the third largest fur farming country in the world, banned fur production in 2013 with an 11-year phaseout.

This is amazing progress, but the pandemic has created a greater urgency than ever to end this cruelty. In recent weeks, infectious disease experts and the World Health Organization have called on nations to end their wildlife trade to avoid another pandemic; we need to extend that call to fur farms across the globe, including those right here on U.S. soil. The fur industry is heading toward certain demise, and now, with the increased disease risk it poses, there is no reason to keep it alive for a day longer.

Categories
Humane Economy, Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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8 Comments

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  1. Audrey Engelking says:

    Please stop all the wildlife markets! It is barbaric, cruel and unusual punishment for these animals. Animals feel pain just like we do and animals feel scared like we do. They are piled up in cages waiting to die. They understand what is happening to them.
    Please, I beg you!!

    Sincerely,
    Mrs. Audrey Engelking

  2. Carole Jackson says:

    NATURE IS FIGHTING BACK WITH CORONAVIRUS, THE HUMANS ON THIS PLANET EARTH ARE DEVASTATING NATURE & WILDLIFE & THIS IS A WARNING TO HUMANS THAT WILDLIFE IS PUNISHING YOU FOR THE EVIL YOU DO TO WILD ANIMALS, STOP THE WET MARKETS, EATING WILDLIFE IS EVIL CRUEL & DISGUSTING & HAS TO BE BANNED, THE FUR INDUSTRY IF YOU CAN CALL IT AN INDUSTRY IS A CRUEL EVIL THING TO DO TO WILDLIFE OR ANY ANIMAL, SO ANIMALS ARE FIGHTING BACK BY GIVING US THE CORONA VIRUS, STOP EATING, SKINNING, HUNTING OF WILDLIFE OR THE NEXT VIRUS WILL WIPE OUT THE HUMAN RACE & YOU PEOPLE DESERVE IT, SO JUST STOP IT.

  3. Marisa says:

    What is HSUS doing to change that?

  4. Renee Doan says:

    Testing mink on fur farms is so heartless, deplorable, frightening, horrific & so painful for ANIMALS!! MUST BE STOPPED. Thank you!

  5. Erin Kennedy says:

    Who the Hell is Still Wearing Fur?!? This Industry is Horrid and Must Go Down! The Pandemic Should Bury It!

    • Sushie says:

      Unfortunately, so many women and young women, too.

      It’s despicable. Only a narcissistic entitled low life would kill an animal for vanity.

  6. Susan Heron- brown says:

    I thought fur was dead a long time ago.
    This is one of the reasons that we have this virus. I also think that a higher power is sending a message to the world to stop the horrible treatment of animals.

  7. Leslie says:

    Yup, keeping animals packed together in cages with little or no regard for their health and well-being creates the perfect recipe for disaster. And the fur farm in Finland is disgraceful. As with the wet markets, time to end it all.
    And what are these ‘farms”…ahem, prisons, for anyway – FUR, greed/exploitation, false vanity. Needless…and disgusting.

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