Fox in Cage Fur Farming

Is Covid-19 the Final Push Countries Need to Ban Fur Farming? 

In the latest win for animals, Estonia joins the long list of countries that have outlawed fur farming. 

A cruel practice in which animals like minks, foxes, chinchillas, bobcats, and rabbits are bred and slaughtered in farms for their fur to make coats, accessories, and other clothing, fur farming claims the lives of more than 100 million animals worldwide. 

Over the past two decades, global attitudes towards fur farming have changed significantly. In just twenty years, over 20 countries have either banned the practice or offered protection to some species. 

The UK led the way with their ban on fur farming in 2000, followed by Austria in 2005. Countries like Bulgaria, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, and Ukraine are currently considering legislation to ban fur farming.

Fox in cage at fur farm
Photo from WikiMedia Commons

In June 2021, in a historic first step towards a fur-free future, Israel became the world’s first country to ban the sale of fur products.

“The fur industry causes the killing of hundreds of millions of animals around the world, and involves indescribable cruelty and suffering,” remarked the Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gali Gamliel. 

“Animal fur coats cannot cover the brutal murder industry that makes them. Signing these regulations will make the Israeli fashion market more environmentally friendly and far kinder to animals,” he added. 

The spotlight on mink farming is in some ways related to COVID-19 outbreaks in mink farms in over 10 countries.

Mink in cage at fur farm
Photo from Fur Free Alliance

Denmark, once the largest producer of mink in the world and home to over a thousand fur farms with around 17 million minks, found itself in the eye of the storm last year when it decided to cull over 2.85 million minks. 

The metaphorical Ragnarok (dubbed #minkgate) that followed led to mass culling of healthy and unhealthy mink alike by gassing, with truckloads of minks being dropped into graves in the Danish countryside, and the resignation of Danish Food and Agriculture minister Mogens Jensen.

So what exactly goes on in a fur farm?

Fur farms are straight-up horror shows. Like other animal exploitation industries, its goal is profit, and to fulfill it, animals are crammed in row upon row of tightly packed small cages. The animals in these cages barely have enough space to move and are often stuck sitting in their own feces and urine. 

As they’re removed from their natural environment, they start displaying dangerous behaviors that often lead to self-harm. These animals, suffering from pain and stress, end up mutilating themselves and sometimes even resort to cannibalism. 

Fox in cage at fur farm
Photo from WikiMedia Commons

Since the fur industry is based on selling the skins and hair of these animals, in order to preserve it, some of the cruelest ways to kill them are devised. These methods range from suffocating these animals in makeshift gas chambers to genital electrocution and strangulation.

The pandemic increasing our concern for animal welfare and giving us a better understanding of how our relationship with animals affects the world might signal the end of fur farming. 

Vibhooti Mangal Tiwari
Vibhooti Mangal Tiwari

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