Roughly 85% of the fur industry pelts comes from animals living on factory-like farms. These farms can house thousands of animals and they are all fairly similar in how they operate.
Small wire cages, suspended off of the ground in rows, line long barns on typically remote properties which ironically are often surrounded by dense woods and fields which is a cruel taunt for the animals that are caged.
These farms are designed to maximize profit and that always comes at the expense of the animals.
The most commonly farmed fur-bearing animals are mink, followed by fox, chinchilla and raccoon dog. Each of these species are denied even the most basic of comforts. For example, mink are capable of occupying up to 2500 acres of wetland in the wild but are confined to a cage no bigger than 4'x4'.
The way they live on these farms is just as awful as the way they die as there are no federal humane slaughter laws in place on fur farms.
Smaller species like mink and chinchilla are put in boxes and gassed, often times with exhaust from a truck. Foxes and other larger species are typically electrocuted through their mouth and anus as this allegedly preserves their fur during the process.
"The fur industry refuses to condemn even blatantly cruel killing methods such as electrocution. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, electrocution causes “death by cardiac fibrillation, which causes cerebral hypoxia,” but warns that “animals do not lose consciousness for 10 to 30 seconds or more after onset of cardiac fibrillation.” In other words, the animals are forced to suffer from a heart attack while they are still conscious." -American Veterinary Medical Association, “AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia,” Jun 2007
"Contrary to fur-industry propaganda, fur production destroys the environment. The amount of energy needed to produce a real fur coat from ranch-raised animal skins is approximately 20 times that needed to produce a fake fur garment." -Gregory H. Smith, “Energy Study of Real vs. Synthetic Furs,” University of Michigan, Sep 1979.
"Nor is fur biodegradable, thanks to the chemical treatment applied to stop the fur from rotting. The process of using these chemicals is also dangerous because it can cause water contamination. Each mink skinned by fur farmers produces about 44 pounds of feces." -S.J. Bursian et al., “The Use of Phytase as a Feed Supplement to Enhance Utilization and Reduce Excretion of Phosphorous in Mink,” 2003 Fur Rancher Blue Book of Fur
The USDA no longer reports the number of farms “to protect the identity of individual farmers according to the Fur Commission USA.
Consumers need to take a stand and realize that every fur coat, trim or accessory came at the expense of an animal that did not ask to be born, let alone live and die in such an insanely cruel way.
Animals are sentient beings that deserve respect and to live free of abuse and suffering.
You can take a stand against fur by not supporting companies that sell fur, by writing to your legislators and asking them to implement fur sale bans in your area and every time you see a magazine, advertisement or celebrity wearing fur, voice your opinion and your disapproval.