HSI undercover investigation shows foxes bludgeoned, skinned alive on Asian fur farms

By on July 7, 2020 with 18 Comments

The cruelty of fur is on terrifying display in these scenes from a fur farm, captured on video by investigators working with Humane Society International. Foxes are pulled out of their cages, one by one, usually by their tails as they try to cling to the wire walls in terror. Each is thrown to the ground and repeatedly bludgeoned in the head and face with a metal rod. The animals struggle and tremble, badly injured but not yet dead. The ground is stained with the blood that pours out of their heads.

Moments later, if you can still bear to watch (warning: the linked video contains images that many will find disturbing), you’ll see men skinning the animals, some still alive, after which their bodies are dumped like trash. The camera moves to a pile of discarded carcasses, including one skinned animal who raises his head, slowly and painfully.

It’s hard to imagine a worse way to die. But the lives of the nearly 100 million animals killed each year for their fur, including foxes, raccoon dogs and mink, are hardly any better: they spend all of their days in captivity at fur factory farms like these. As you see in the undercover footage, the animals are crammed into tiny wire cages where they can barely move. It’s the only space they’ll ever know, and it is a terrible one. Feces pile up under the cages, and their water bowls are either dry or a fetid pool of algae. The animals are never seen by a veterinarian, and many exhibit symptoms of mental distress and decline.

Skinned animals are heaped in a pile at a fur farm. Animals are sometimes skinned while still alive.

Investigators filmed this footage at 11 randomly selected fur farms in one of the top fur-producing countries in Asia. We are choosing not to reveal the country in order to protect the identity of the investigators. Besides, it’s important not to lose sight of the true culprits here: fur factory farms like these would not exist if designers, retailers and consumers did not provide a market for these cruel products.

With growing awareness about the immense suffering of animals in the fur industry, major fashion houses and retailers the world over have shunned it. In the last few years alone, we have worked with major fashion brands and retailers, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Prada, Gucci, Armani, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, YOOX Net-A-Porter, Farfetch, Donna Karan, Burberry, Coach and others, to announce fur-free policies. California last year became the first U.S. state to ban fur, and we are working to pass similar bans in cities and states across the United States, including Minneapolis, Rhode Island and Hawaii.

Globally, HSI has kept up the momentum against fur. HSI/United Kingdom spearheads the campaign to make Britain the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur. The U.K. banned fur farming two decades ago but still imports tens of thousands of pounds of fur each year. More than a dozen European countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic and Norway, have also banned fur production.

The Netherlands, once the third largest fur farming country in the world, banned fur production in 2013 with an 11-year phaseout. But in recent months, the coronavirus crisis has added even more urgency to end the fur trade there and around the world. After two fur farm workers in the Netherlands were reported to have contracted the virus from infected mink, the country killed hundreds of thousands of mink, most of them pups, on 20 Dutch fur factory farms to stop any further spread of the virus. The Dutch government is now considering a permanent closure of all mink fur farms in the country. Denmark, which is Europe’s largest mink producer, has also discovered infected mink on three fur farms. Infectious disease experts had already warned fur farms could act as reservoirs for the disease, and with this cull, we have seen even more needless suffering play out for these animals.

The fur trade has nothing to offer except the worst sort of cruelty for a product no one needs. So many warm and stylish alternatives indistinguishable from animal fur are now widely available to consumers, and even a single animal bred and killed for their fur is one too many. This gruesome video is a reminder that we still have a long way to go, but we won’t stop until this cruel commodity is wiped out for good, and no animal is beaten to death and skinned alive on a fur farm anywhere in the world.

Warning: Video below contains images many may find disturbing.

Humane Society International, Investigations, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    No podemos permitir que mas animalitos siga pasando este tipo de sufrimiento esto tiene que acabar ya no es justo tanta violencia y tanta inumanidad

  2. Laurie weston says:

    Don’t agree the “true” culprits are the designers, retailers etc. You could say that about doctors, nutritionists and publishers of cook books for creating a market for dairy products and poultry products. The issue of cruelty comes into it. Whether it is animal husbandry of any kind, the onus on the producer to do his work humanely. The only time a inhumane death of an animal should take place, is when in nature a predator catches his prey. We humans can do what needs to be done as humanely as possible.

    • Robin Cornell says:

      So are you saying it’s OK to kill them for fashion if it’s done humanely? It sounds to me like you are. You state humans can do what needs to be done as humanely as possible. All industries that abuse animals state they’re humane. Fur farmers and trappers belong to trade organizations whose purpose is to dupe consumers into thinking fur bearing mammals are raised and killed humanely, and that fur is an environmentally preferable product. In Wisconsin where I live, the fur farms are mom and pop operations that operate secretly. No one knows for certain what goes on at these farms, except the people who work there, and no state agency cares about the welfare of farmed mink and fox, whatever they may say. Fur farms are cruel, evil and barbaric.

    • Rick Holt says:

      I was a soldier for 31 years…and I grew tired of the killing around me. It was always a question in back of my head. Now, I have time and see man has made even further inroads into cruelty….killing for fashion? There are non animal products that will keep you warm without killing the animals. Never less baby animals kept in cages for their short lives in horrendous conditions. Killing is killing….man or beast and all is highly distasteful. But I draw my line today against animal cruelty due to the one that directed my whole life. God! Who said that as man, we may kill to sustain ourselves. I think it goes without saying that if man has to kill…he does it humanly as is his belief in all that is godly. However….. killing for fashion??? That’s a whole new era of human depravity…..and if you note the videos everyday present on this…and the abhorrent inhuman treatment and death of these creatures….. I can only say I hope god doesn’t have a place for you….because quite simply….I may not be god…but I draw a line on the company I keep and how they treat all around them.

  3. Tammara King says:

    If everyone with any sense of humanity were forced to view and acknowledge this form of cruelty they would never get near real fur again.

    Although heartbreaking to see it is the ONLY way to touch the necessary nerve to stop it.

  4. Kim Bartasavich says:

    What is the call to action?

  5. Michelle says:

    TIME TO SEVERELY PUNISH anyone who sells, manufactures or purchases fur products! My God! We need to get a backbone and fight for the innocent!!! It’s inconceivable to me that the Netherlands even allowed an 11 year phase out!! How disgusting!! BAN FUR EVERYWHERE and SHUN those who where it!

  6. Yurany says:

    This people are being so mean to these poor animals. This is not acceptable and this needs to stop!!! Animals are literally dying because of this. This is exactly why i don’t wanna buy a dog or cat from the humane Society, or a rescuer. I don’t like breeders. These dogs are dying. This is needs to stop now!!!

  7. R. M. says:

    Absolutely disgusting that anyone would do this to a defenseless animal. They are pigs !!! 😡😡😡😡😡

  8. Shiva says:

    Dear Hunamae Society,
    Thank you so much for your hard work
    and dedication to rescue innocent poor animals.
    This cruelty should be stopped as soon as possible.
    Please make a petition that we all sign to ask their governments to please stop this cruelty of killing innocent animals for their fur.
    No innocent animal should be
    killed for its skin or fur.
    Thanks fur continue your helping animals.

  9. Amanda says:

    I cannot believe that I live in a world where this is allowed. My heart shattered into a million pieces while watching that video.

  10. Kate says:

    This makes me hate humans. I couldn’t even watch the video as the description was enough to make me cry. Tell us how to help or what to look for in not supporting a company apart of this atrocious act of causing pain to these innocent animals, who had the bad luck of having beautiful fur? Do we only just donate and sit back? I feel the need to act when I see this.

    • Carol Robertson says:

      and everyone reading this. Like you, this video made me cry. I agree with your question…..Do we just donate and sit back? Maybe the Coronavirus will help end this atrocity.
      I too feel the need to act when I see this. Disgusted.


  11. animal girl says:

    This is so wrong how would you like to be beaten half to death and then skinned alive and then thrown into a pile to die of bleeding,hunger,thirst, or the cold depending on what gets to you first. sitting there trembling in pain I just cant even…

  12. Cathleen says:

    unspeakable! how can anyone bear to wear fur produced through such cruelty. ( I threw out my duck feather and down lined coat when I saw how they were treated, also in Asia!!) at least one good thing will come from the Covid-19 pandemic if this trade ends.

  13. James says:

    Yet you wear clothes made by workers working in terrible conditions for pennies. You wear shoes made by 5 year old children who know nothing but to work as they are told to in inhumane conditions. I am not pro fur in fact I condemn it. I just find it interesting how much hypocrisy is involved in all these discussions.

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