Aspen Times – Editorial Response

Press Releases

July 2009, Aspen, CO

Dear Editor:
The false claims purported in Mr. Bishop’s letter reveal the consumer’s need for truth about fur, given his attempts to mislead the public with outrageous allegations, half truths and straight lies. Here are the facts.

The majority of the fur used in fashions purchased in the U.S., and all Western countries, come from North American and European farms. Fur garments are often manufactured in China from the raw materials imported from these countries where they were farmed legally. The Chinese manufacturers provide the garment’s lining and other basic forms of construction. After being constructed in China the garments are exported to North America and Europe.

The production of farmed and wild furs in the U.S. is, in fact, heavily regulated by government authorities and by industry codes of practice developed in conjunction with advice from highly reputable veterinary scientists. Fur farmers must operate under certain environmental standards like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. State statutes ensure humane standards of euthanasia of fur-bearing animals, also based on extensive scientific research.

In the European Union (EU) there are EU directives which cover the welfare of farm animals and permitted euthanasia methods. EU environmental laws that apply to the agricultural sector also apply to fur farming. In Europe there is also a Council of Europe Recommendation specifically on fur-farmed animals which has been incorporated into national law in several European countries and is reflected in the European fur farmers own Code of Practice.

In Canada, codes of practice are in place which were developed with the federal department of agriculture and the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. With regards to the capture of wild animals for fur production, similar regulations apply. Fur trappers use highly selective methods of trapping wild animals developed on the basis of years of scientific research funded in part by the fur trade. The fur trade uses less than 1?4 of 1 percent of animals used for food production and other purposes.
Much attention is put into the care of fur-bearing animals, since the farmer’s income is based on the production of high-quality materials. A fur farmer’s main concern is the health of his animals. Their goal is minimizing the stress levels for their animals to produce the highest quality coat. A highly stressed animal would produce a worthless product.
Letters like Mr. Bishop’s contain allegations based on false statistics, assumptions and lies in order to further the agenda of animal activist organizations. These activist groups are against scientific testing on animals, the results of which generate life-saving medications and treatments. Their vegan campaign opposes meat eating. They are anti-leather as well as anti-fur, and they find keeping an animal as a pet inhumane and torturous. A great majority of Americans do not support their agenda. They continue their campaigns of belligerence and deception to mislead us. Yet, the conveyance of false statistics as a means to push one’s agenda is absolutely intolerable.

Betsy Gregg
Fur Information Council of America

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