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The Fur Trade Today - 04/17/05

Published 04/18/05

After a campaign that began in mid-February, Swedish activists from the group Malmö djurrättsaktivister have convinced the fashion store chain “Solo” to stop selling fur in each of their seven stores. The shop “Spirit” also signed a fur-free policy and promised to never sell fur again after negotiations with the activists.

Source: Malmö djurrättsaktivister, 03/15/05

According to President Steve Fitzwater of the National Trappers Association, there are over 142,000 trappers in the U.S. but the NTA has only 10,000 members.

Source: American Trapper, March/April 2005

The UK companion animal supply chain Poundland has agreed to remove all fur toys from its 100+ stores after a brief campaign by Advocates for Animals.

Source: Lynda Korimboccus - Advocates or Animals, 03/16/05

Imports of fur apparel into the U.S. declined in January, including imports of fur trim.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 03/21/05

The Irish government ruled out a nationwide ban on fur farming but said it may introduce stricter licensing requirements in the future. Junior Agriculture Minister John Browne said a bill to outlaw the industry was neither practical nor useful since inspections by the Agriculture Department indicated that the animals were well cared for and slaughter techniques complied with EU regulations.

The Green Party said that a 2004 opinion poll showed that nearly two in three Irish people believe that fur farming should be banned.

Source: IrelandOnline, 03/22/05

Rhode Island House Bill 6046 would ban the use of “body crushing” traps with no exceptions. This bill amends the language to the already existing restrictions on the use of leghold traps which currently can be used only with a special permit from the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Source: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext/billtext05/housetext05/h6046.pdf

Activists in the UK have succeeded in their campaign to persuade retailer Snow and Rock to stop selling fur. In a recent letter, Snow and Rock’s Managing Director Dion Taylor wrote: “Snow+Rock are now under new ownership and management. Linked with this change the directors have reviewed its policy and will no longer be stocking or purchasing any products made from real animal fur. This applies to all companies under our control.”

Source: Sharon.Campbell@snowandrock.com, 03/24/05

Trapper & Predator Caller’s fur marker reporter says that a “record-setting” mild winter in Russia has impacted the movement of North American raccoon skins because Russia is the only market for raccoon fur. Even though buyers from countries such as Greece, China and Turkey may buy raccoon skins, the finished products are sent to retail outlets in Russia. (p. 13)

In an article on animal control trapping, trapper Phil Nichols described how he killed a skunk by injecting her between her legs at the base of her neck with acetone [commonly used to make plastic, fibers, and other chemicals; it is also used to dissolve other substances — JM]. (p. 45)

Trapper Jim Spencer tells how he caught a huge Labrador while running a trap line in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. (p. 47)

Executive Director of the Fur Institute of Canada Robert Cahill tells trapper Serge Lariviere that the #120 conibear, the most commonly used trap for marten, did not pass the Institute’s “humane” trap research standards. [Despite these traps being inhumane they are still being used by trappers — JM] (p. 52)

Source: Trapper & Predator Caller, April-May 2005

The Socialdemocratic party, the green party, and the left-wing party in Sweden will propose significant welfare changes that will likely render the fur industry unable to turn a profit should the changes be adopted. The new regulations will be proposed to the government in March 2006, and will be in effective from January 2007, with some exceptions that will be until December 31, 2008.

Source: Daniel Rolke, 03/31/05

U.S. retail fur sales did not reach the levels the trade had expected and as a result, fur sellers are looking forward to the upcoming storage and service season to make up the difference.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 04/04/05

The Michigan city of Traverse City cannot ban animal trapping, based on a recent decision by the state Department of Natural Resources. In 2003 city commissioners considered an ordinance that would have banned the use of kill traps but the DNR said such a hunting control is its “jurisdiction,” not the city’s, said Benjamin Marentette, deputy city clerk.

“In our investigation we really didn’t determine that there was a significant public safety issue at hand that could not be controlled ... through existing laws that we have right now,” said Lt. Dean Molnar of the Cadillac DNR district.

Source: Record-Eagle, 04/04/05

An undercover investigation by the Portuguese animal rights group “ANIMAL” and the newspaper O Independente has led to the closure of the country’s largest chinchilla farm.

According to the investigation, the owner of the farm claimed that this was the biggest chinchilla fur farm in Portugal, “producing” up to 500,000 chinchillas per year, possibly more, if ordered.* Following this investigation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Police closed down the unlicensed fur farm and removed more than 300 female breeding chinchillas and more than 800 skins that the owner was unable to hide. ANIMAL is trying to secure legal custody of the chinchillas, so that they can be safely rehomed.

*According to John Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States, the fur farmer’s claim that he could “produce” 500,000 skins per year is suspect. If he had only 300 breeders on hand his production was probably more like 1,200 to 1,500 a year. Each female has an average litter size of 2.2 and can be bred 2 to 3 times a year (111 day gestation period). If somehow he had more breeders than 300, it would still mean that his farm alone was responsible for 1/4 of the world supply of chinchilla skins. This is highly unlikely.

Source: ANIMAL, 04/05/05

After being acquired by the retail clothing chain Forever 21, the Carrollton, Texas-based retailer Gadzooks (now known as Gadzooks 21) will be ridding its racks of all fur items in all 150 of the chain’s stores in 36 states. The move comes about after Forever 21 engaged in discussions with PeTA.

Source: PeTA News Release, 04/08/05

At least eight dogs in Alaska have been injured or killed in recent years by baited traps on public lands. The problem has become such a problem that the Alaska Trappers Association has created a seminar to educate the public about what to do if they come across a trap on or near a trail, Stephen Davila, its president, said. “The seminar includes pet safety and pet first aid.”

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 04/11/05

Most Chinese fur farms were established in the past 10 years. Wild species bred for fur include red foxes, Arctic foxes, raccoons, dogs, mink and Rex rabbits. Most animals are killed at about six months old, when they molt for the first time. China is the world’s largest exporter of fur garments.

Sources: The China Post, 02/03/05
The Taipei Times, 02/03/05

Trapping animals would be prohibited under a new ordinance the village Hartland, Wisconsin is considering. Part of the proposed ordinance states that nobody could trap, hunt, shoot or attempt to molest any bird, wildfowl or animal or disturb any bird’s nest. Several trustees questioned whether this ordinance would prohibit the trapping of pest animals, such as chipmunks, on private property. Village President David Lamerand suggested the proposed ordinance be reworded to permit homeowners to trap rodents and other pests on their personal property.

Source: Lake County Reporter, 04/14/05

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