“There is nothing glamorous about electrocuting animals to death. Fur farms have no place in a modern society, and it is essential that we end the fur trade for good.”
An undercover video has revealed evidence of extreme animal suffering on multiple fur farms in China – with one farmer also admitting that the ‘meat from slaughtered fur animals is being sold to local restaurants for human consumption’.
China is the largest fur producing industry in the world and animal welfare charity Humane Society International (HSI) conducted the investigation at 13 fur farms between November and December last year.
Footage obtained from one farm shows raccoon dogs being so ‘ineptly electrocuted that experts say they will have been rendered paralyzed but still conscious while experiencing slow, agonizing deaths from cardiac arrest’.
Fur farmers often use a double-spiked lance attached to a high voltage battery for electrocution purposes. The animals are stabbed in random parts of the body, because of which the electric shock doesn’t instantly kill but paralyses them leading to painful, agonizing slow deaths.
Caged foxes were taped displaying classic symptoms of mental breakdown by repetitively spinning and pacing in their tiny, barren, wire cages.
The team said the investigation not only revealed breaches of many of China’s fur farming regulations on animal housing, welfare, slaughter, and epidemic control, but a farmer also disclosed that the meat from the slaughtered animals is bought by local restaurants for human consumption.
‘Cruelty in the name of fashion’
“Animals on fur farms live in a world of constant fear and suffering, and this latest investigation is further evidence of that,” Kitty Block, CEO, and president of the Humane Society of the United States and president of Humane Society International said in an online statement.
“It’s hard to imagine that anyone still stands by this cruelty in the name of fashion. There is nothing glamorous about electrocuting animals to death. Fur farms have no place in a modern society, and it is essential that we end the fur trade for good.”
COVID-19 and fur farms
HSI also reported that biosecurity measures and disease control regulations were routinely ignored at these particular farms despite COVID-19 outbreaks being reported on at least 422 mink fur farms in 11 different countries in Europe and North America and raccoon dogs and foxes also equally susceptible of contracting coronaviruses.
According to experts, animals reared in high-stress environments are more likely to contract viral infections and also increase the scale of “virus shedding”.
This further increases the risk of further outbreaks of zoonotic diseases – much like the coronavirus, which is thought to have passed from a pangolin infected by bats to humans at a wet market in Wuhan.
“In the past months, the public has been confronted with the fact that fur farms are not only places of enormous animal suffering, but they can also act as virus factories,” Claire Bass, executive director of HSI/UK, said.
“The living conditions on fur farms, which confine wild species at high densities and in close proximity, fail to satisfy the animals’ most basic welfare needs, leaving them highly stressed, which can lead to their immune systems being compromised.
“Mink, foxes, and raccoon dogs are all capable of being infected with coronaviruses, and the outbreaks of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on fur farms across Europe and North America have confronted us with the terrifying reality that fur factory farms create ideal conditions for diseases to spread from one animal to another, and for viruses to mutate into forms potentially virulent to humans.”
‘Time to make fur history’
Bass added: “We don’t need frivolous fur fashion. And we certainly don’t need these unnecessary reservoirs for coronaviruses. More than ever, it is time to make fur history.”
The evidence has been provided to Chinese authorities, both in Beijing and in London.
HSI is also campaigning to end the cruel fur trade for good. You can help by signing the petition here.
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