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  • Anti-Fur Society
    Dec 1, 2010
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      Since I don't read Chinese, I am assuming this is the page where my article was published.  If this is not the right page, please look for it on their website.  I did ask the journalist, in case this is not the right page.  This magazine covers social events and other issues in the Chinese speaking world and is very well read.   So this is important!!! 
      Newspapers and magazines are more likely to publish stories that get a lot of accesses.  So please forward the story to your lists, forums and friends and ask them to click on the link.  By doing so, the journalist  will be able to get lots of credit for having written this article, and the magazine may publish more similar articles.  God Knows we need these stories published in China.
      "Dear Rosa,
      Thank you very much for your help.
      Please be noted that the article of Chinese Fur Industry is going to be published in this issue (No. 1082) today (1 December 2010).
      Please find our link as below:
      Best regards,
      Phoebe Chan
      What do you think about the fur industry in China?


      ¨ The fur industry in China, following undercover investigations, has become infamous for being possibly the cruelest on the planet.  According to a research study conducted by one AFS member, it is estimated that China is one of the biggest fur markets in the world; the sum of fur trade exceeded $2 billion in 2004. The fur consumption kills more than 2 million foxes and 6 million martens per year in China. It is not only the way animals are kept in repulsively inhumane conditions on the fur farms, but also in the ways they are killed—often skinned alive.  Cats and dogs also have the most heart wrenching treatment.  Countless of them are stolen from loving homes just to meet with unspeakable deaths—boiled alive, skinned alive or both. Our research found a tangled web fuels the cat and dog fur industry.  Taking cats as an example. Adult cats rounded up from the streets.  Traps using live birds as bait are set during the night. Friendly cats are collected with ropes. Pet shop surplus animals that did not sell are gathered from the local vendors. The animals are then shoved and crammed into crates each holding 40-50 terrified animals in each tiny crate and stored in warehouses until transported to southern China. Additionally, while it is hard to gain precise numbers, the illegal fur trade from exotic and endangered animals also thrives. Street and shop vendors regularly market these animal furs.

      Those who kill animals for fur in China seem to be devoid of empathy.  Lack of empathy for the suffering of others has been shown by sociologists to be a dangerous trait in human beings. According to sensitization theory, humans who practice animal abuse most likely will move on up to do the same to humans, because we simply become desensitized over time to any repeated behavior .


      The horrific acts committed against fur bearing animals in China are not made public to Chinese citizens where a vast majority would not condone it. AFS has photos (see attached) showing the horrific treatment of the fur industry victims. The works of fur industry and fur farms have become even more hidden from the public since the undercover investigations which exposed the fur industry system in China as one of the most shameful.  I would say that currently no one really knows what is going on in the Chinese fur farms.  The burning questions are:

      Have they improved the animals living conditions?   No one knows!


      Have they become more compassionate when killing fur bearing animals?   No one knows!  


      These two questions will remain until the Chinese establish laws that protect furbearing animals and decide to open up their fur farms so the public can see what’s inside.  If they have nothing to hide, then why not show it to the public?


      There is no humane way of keeping and transporting wild or domesticated animals in cages and then killing them for their fur.  However, it would give us a little more comfort if we knew that the methods fur farms are using weren’t as inhumane as they have been, that is:  Skinning, boiling alive or both. 


      2) Have your side dealt with any fur industry players in China, such as the

          Government body, the traders or the farmers etc.?


      The government in China doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to humanize the fur industry for one simple reason:  They don’t have to.  Protests are beginning in China, yet these are not taken seriously, and the increasingly organized and growing numbers of animal welfare activists in China know they must work with the government and not against the government if they want to accomplish lasting changes for the animals.


      Even animal lovers in China who truly care for cats and dogs, some spending their last penny to rescue strays, are not immune from benefiting from the products of fur farms.  I have seen photos of true animal caring people wearing real fur trims, fur jackets etc. Here in the West, there is a growing awareness that fur is unnecessary that some fur trims from China may have the highest chance of being from cat or dog. In fact a federal law is pending in the US that will require all imported fur and its origin to be labeled.  In China, however, a cat/dog lover who sacrifices all her/his life for these animals may be wearing or carrying trinkets from the very animal without even thinking about it.


      Chinese embassies all over the world have had their fair share of protests against the barbarian fur trade in China, but to no avail.  People around the world have clogged up Chinese embassies and consulates with letters of protests and petitions.  Again to no avail.  In the last few years, I came to realize that protesting to the Chinese government is in vain.  While the government wants to be viewed by the outside as “civilized”, ultimately change must come from inside. If one truly wishes to help animals in China, the best way is to pacifically work with Chinese animal loving people.  There are many such groups in mainland China, and they continue to organize and flourish all over the country, in areas that have never been known to be animal- loving.  This sends out a loud and clear message to the government and to the world:  Chinese citizens are ready to take the challenge of bringing China out of the “cruelest country to animals” list.    I repeat:  If anyone wishes to help Chinese animals, start helping Chinese groups who educate, demonstrate and rescue animals, feed and reduce homeless animals through trap/neuter/return programs so they will stop reproducing in the streets only later to become victims of the fur/meat trade.


      The fur trade in China:  I am counting on the growing number of compassionate Chinese citizens to start rejecting the use of fur.  Traders will continue supplying the offending materials as long as there is a demand for it in China and elsewhere. I am hopeful that bills such at the labeling requirements pending approval in the US will expose the industry to the world.


      3) What are the difficulties to ban fur industry in China?


      Traders are at best intertwined entities overly protected by Fur Councils worldwide, thus very difficult to reach and even if reached—they are irresponsive because it is their livelihood and a lucrative one.  Fur farms in China? There have been a number of investigations of these farms by local and foreign activists, but this is becoming increasingly more difficult.  I doubt they are accessible at all.  I have never heard of anyone in the animal rights world being able to actually have contact with them.  Who are they and where are they?  The locals know the whereabouts, but access and communication is becoming dangerous and difficult, even for the media. It is a mystery.


      I would like to communicate with fur farmers in China to learn more about what goes on in their minds and how that would translate to human compassion, if that is at all possible. The issues associated with the fur industry are multifold.  Added to the culture of animal exploitation in China (simply because of the sheer numbers--to a lesser extent in the rest of the world) has been ingrained in people’s subconscious.  It is a culture where the Buddhists feel that animals do feel pain and suffer, but don’t know what can be done about it, and partly because people lack the knowledge of how to kill easily and more humanly.  But, some don’t care whether they feel pain or not they are just a product to them, just like factory farms in the US. It is not easy for people to realize that they can reject this culture and accept a more modern and compassionate life.     


      4) Please let us know your plans on banning the fur industry in China and worldwide?


      There is no magic ways of fighting the cruel fur trade in China or anywhere in the world.  Animal caring people are fighting a multi-billion dollar industry which can subsidize fur designers, fashion models, Hollywood made “artists” and other uncaring humans.  Added to that, politicians around the world have been more than friendly towards the fur trade.  For example, in the United States, we have a law that prohibits the trade of cat/dog fur, however when this law was passed, it went with a loophole that exempts items below $150 from having to be explained what it is.  Cat/dog fur items are considered budget fur, and most are below this price.  Therefore, what was the point of that law?  It is a good question to ask the US politicians.  One will find pro-fur friendly laws worldwide regardless of most people being against the use of fur. 


      So, how can we fight such a powerful foe?   We only have our voices on a string budget, hoping to persuade as many people as possible to become more compassionate and stop supporting an industry that is both unspeakably cruel and unnecessary.


      Rosa Close



      Editing, Research, data & photos by courtesy of

      Dr. Sharon Methvins, Cultural Anthropologist, AFS member