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The Fur Trade Today - 10/05/04

Published 10/05/04

P.J. from Virginia wrote to trapper Kermit Stearns asking his advice on a few trapping-related problems. P.J. asked Stearns how he can correct the problem of finding traps with only toes caught in them. Stearns mentioned that the trap was not set correctly and gave him some suggestions on how to correct the problem.

Source: Trapper & Predator Caller, August 2004

Scotland’s “The House of Bruar” has once again begun selling coats made from hamster fur, after a successful campaign convinced the store to remove the offensive products from its shelves. Each coat requires the deaths of 100 hamsters.

The store claims it is selling only the remaining stock of the coats and that “The policy of the House of Bruar is that we will no longer be purchasing fur lined loden coats.”

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk, 08/27/04

Cat and dog fur is being shipped into Britain on a record scale and London has become a major international trading centre for the furs, following bans in other countries. Although America, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Greece and Australia have banned all cat and dog fur imports, there are no such restrictions in Britain.

Of the £40.8 million worth of fur imports to the UK, £5.9 million fell into the “other” category, most likely the majority of this is from domestic cats and dogs. Imports of furs from nearly all other animals used by the fur trade are accounted for in other figures.

The majority of cat and dog fur arriving here comes from China, where two million animals a year are slaughtered for the trade. Although some cats and dogs are from fur farms many are stray and ferals.

The Department of Trade and Industry has not ruled out banning imports of fur from domestic cats and dogs, but fears new laws would be very difficult to enforce.

Source: www.thisislondon.co.uk, 08/31/04

After more than a year of research and revision, New Paltz, NY village trustees passed a law restricting the use of lethal traps to deal with nuisance animals. The law was inspired by the discovery last year that local property owner Peter Bienstock was using lethal traps to deal with beavers on his land, and the death of a family dog allegedly killed by one of the traps.

Under the new law, lethal traps are barred on all village-owned property, and traps may not be placed within 300 feet of any building within the village. The law also requires that warning signs be posted at 50-foot intervals around any property where lethal traps are laid, as well as at the site of the trap itself. Anyone wishing to use deadly traps in the village must notify the village's environmental commission, which can require a meeting with the property owner or trapper to discuss non-lethal methods of animal control.

Source: Daily Freeman, 09/02/04

In May 2004, a Gallup poll of one thousand adults across America revealed their attitudes on wearing clothing made of animal fur. The poll revealed that 37 percent of Americans consider wearing fur morally unacceptable. According to Gallup's Heather Mason, “animal rights issues don't currently strike a chord in the hearts and minds of most Americans.”

In related news, a recent survey commissioned by the Fur Council of Canada and the Fur Institute of Canada revealed increased interest in fur among women aged 18-24. Of this age group, 6% said they were thinking of buying a fur garment in the next year.

Source: Fur Commission USA, 09/01/04

The Justice Department investigation into the U.S. fur trade will most likely extend well into 2005. Some of those subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury have been granted postponements until February.

For the first time, Barney's New York will be selling furs at its new Madison Avenue flagship store.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 08/30/04

Oregon State Police were called in to investigate the case of a red-tailed hawk who was found caught in a leghold trap. The hawk's leg bone & flesh were severed, and he did not survive.

Officer Vanderberg found the trapper and fined him for not having proper permits and for improper baiting.

Source: www.coastwildlife.org/education.html</p>

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will conduct a hearing to consider banning animal traps within Traverse City. City commissioners last fall instructed the city attorney's office to draw up a trapping ban, but stopped short of adopting it after the DNR wrote a letter to city attorneys stating that such an ordinance conflicted with state law. The ordinance would have prohibited trapping unless an animal was damaging private property, and required the use only of live traps.

Source: Record-Eagle, 09/13/04

Belgium has proposed a ban on in the import of seal products, and the Fur Institute of Canada is not very happy about it. Alan Herscovici of the Institute has written to Belgium's ambassador to Canada to lobby against the proposed ban and urge the nation to not listen to the voices of those who care about the seals, and instead yield to those who kill and skin them.

Source: Fur World, 09/13/04

Trapper Matt Houston explains why “soft-catch” or padded leghold traps are no better on the animals than conventional leghold traps. When asked if the rubber fins on the jaws of a padded trap could harm animals in cold temperatures, Houston replied that the fins act “just like a razor blade,” and that the fins move up and down as an animal struggles, cutting his/her leg. He says that trappers have tried different rubber for the jaws and the different rubber would not hold the trapped animals. According to Houston, both PeTA and HSUS wanted trappers to use these “soft catch” traps during the BMP studies in the state of Washington in 1997. Houston mentioned that the soft catch traps were the worst ones used and caused the most injuries to the animals.

Source: Trapper & Predator Caller, September 2004

The clothing industry likes to tell the public that the rabbit fur used for outerwear, trim and accessories is a byproduct of the rabbit meat industry, but the facts tell a different story.

“There is no hope of supplying quality furs under current rational production conditions for meat rabbits, particularly those slaughtered at 11 weeks.”

Source: The Rabbit - Husbandry, Health and Production published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Inditex Group Deputy Chairman and CEO José María Castellano Ríos confirmed that all real fur would be removed from Inditex's 2,064 stores in 52 countries. Inditex Group companies include Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara, Zara Home, and Kiddy's Class.

Inditex has promised to stop the sale of products made using rabbit fur and any kind of fur in all stores located in USA, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and all countries where it has shops as of September 22, 2004.

Further, Inditex promises to sell the remaining stock of clothes with rabbit fur and any kind of fur in its stores located in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Mexico and Venezuela until stocks run out. All Inditex stores will honor a policy of never again carrying any kind of fur after December 31, 2004.

Source: Letter from José María Castellano Ríos, Deputy Chairman and CEO Inditex Group.
Thank you to London Animal Action for posting this letter to its website:

A survey of about 1,000 fur factory-farmers conducted by the Finnish Fur Breeders Association disclosed that about 20% of Finnish fur factory-farmers are planning to increase the number of animals they exploit for their fur, while another 20% are planning to retire from the bloody business. By 2011 new fur-farming regulations go into effect requiring increased cage sizes for captive animals and the significant cost of new cages will cause many factory-farmers to call it quits.

In related news, Danish fur farmers will be forced to comply with new environmental regulations beginning in three years and it is thought that many of the smaller factory-farmers will go out of business. The remaining fur farms will most likely increase the number of animals they kill 7% to 10% over the next few years.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 09/20/04

Imports of fur garments into the U.S. for the month of July rose 39% over July 2003. Total imports from Hong Kong/China are $55.9 million year-to-date, up 89% from last year’s figures. Canadian imports are 5% to $21.2 million.

Raccoon-borne rabies has shown up on New York’s Long Island. In a blow to the common misconception that trapping is the best way to control disease outbreaks, close to 500 raccoons have been hand-vaccinated and more than 20,000 vaccine laden baits have been dropped by helicopters and spread by trucks in the area where the animals are known to live. [Techniques such as these will do far more to control the spread of rabies than trapping ever could. — JM]

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 09/27/04

The fur trade may be pushing the fur of endangered leopard cats under the guise of the label “Lippi cat.”

Fur experts from the Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals believe that Lippi Cat fur is really leopard fur, since commercial hunting and exploitation of the leopard cat is very heavy in China, where there is no legal protection for the species. The European Community passed an import ban in 1988, and now the main market for leopard cat garments is Japan. Candi Phillips of the Theosophical Order of Service believes that Lippi is another name for domestic cat in China.

Source: www.944.biz/phoenix/more.php?article=443</p>

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