All posts by admin

Farmed Fur

Mink in the wild live near water and are excellent swimmers, spending a considerable amount of their time in and out of the water. They have a range of about 2 km along rivers.

Silver foxes travel great distances in the wild. They can run fast and are strong swimmers. They dig their own dens or sometimes use the dens of other animals.

Arctic foxes roam across a vast territory of around 30 square kilometres, frequently covering 10 to 20 km in a day. They are fast runners and strong swimmers. They are very solitary animals.


CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP FARMED FUR
A Change of Heart

Read about farmers who recognise farm animals as friends, not food.

On fur farms, animals spend their entire lives in small, wire cages which are so small the animals can only take a few steps in any direction. Many go insane and behave in a demented manner all day long, circling and pacing in a frantic manner. Parasites and disease are commonplace. Roughly 85% of the fur industry’s skins come from farmed animals.

Killing methods vary around the world. A common method is to electrocute the animal by attaching clamps to its mouths and anus (sometimes rods are inserted into the anus). Another method is to poison the animal with strychnine. This paralyzes their muscles causing them to suffocate. Breaking the neck is another method used. They can also be gassed to death by either carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.

China, a country not renowned for its commitment to animal welfare, to put it mildly, is the world’s largest fur exporter. As well as mink and foxes, rabbits, cats, dogs and other animals are farmed for their fur.

Fur farms are extremely damaging to the environment, producing vast volumes of faeces. A dangerous component of this waste is phosphorus, which pollutes nearby rivers and streams. After an animal has been slaughtered, his or her skin is treated with toxic chemicals to keep it from rotting and decomposing in the buyer’s closet. According to The World Bank, the hazardous process of fur dressing is so problematic that the fur industry is now ranked as one of the world’s five worst industries for toxic-metal pollution.

Although most animals killed for their fur are raised on fur farms, millions of raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, beavers, and other fur-bearing animals are killed every year by trappers. The steel-jaw trap, which the American Veterinary Medical Association calls inhumane, is the most widely used trap. It’s been banned by the European Union and a growing number of U.S. states.

IRELAND

In July 2019, the then Minister for Agriculture announced that his department was to prepare legislation banning the farming of animals for their fur. This didn’t happen during that government’s lifetime. The current Programme for Government (agreed by FF, FG and the Green in June, 2020), contains a commitment to ban the farming of animals for their fur during the term of the government. Clearly, this is good news, however until legislation is passed, the fur industry in Ireland, though small, continues its handful of operations. Fur farming is banned in fourteen EU countries. While the banning of fur farming is to be welcomed, it needs to be accompanied by a ban of the importation and sale of all fur products.

FACTS YOU PROBABLY DON’T WANT TO KNOW

Every year, around

100 million

animals are raised and killed for their fur. The main animals used are mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, rabbits and chinchillas.

In China, cats and dogs are bludgeoned, hanged, and sometimes skinned alive for their fur.

According to a United Nations report, approximately one billion rabbits are killed each year so that their fur can be used in clothing or for lures in fly fishing or trim on craft items. China (again), as well as Italy and Spain, are the main players. Unlike mink and foxes and other fur-bearing animals raised for their fur, rabbit meat is now big business in certain parts of the world.

RECENT HAPPENINGS, RECENT NEWS

In 2019, animal rights activists were successful in California with the passage of AB44, which takes effect in 2023 and makes it illegal to manufacture, sell (or attempt to sell), display, trade, and donate (or otherwise, distribute) fur products in the state. And in New York City, anti-fur activists pressured lawmakers to introduce bill number 1476, which is to prohibit sales of fur apparel and accessories.

24th November 2020

Gerry Boland speaks with Maurice O’Connor on Community Radio Kilkenny City .. Listen to the podcast here .

Fur Farming…What You Can Do….

NEVER, EVER BUY FUR

NEVER SHOP IN A STORE WHICH SELLS FUR PRODUCTS

Rabbit fur is used extensively as trimmings for garments, and also in the production of soft, furry toys. Before you buy, check the label. If the label doesn’t tell you the provenance of the fur, and if you can’t get the information from the shopkeeper, don’t buy. The likelihood is that it will have been made from some animal, and very possibly a rabbit.

SPEAK OUT
Speak out. Use your voice. Express your opinion. If you see someone on the street wearing fur, approach them politely and ask them if they are aware of the suffering behind their garment. You will probably get a negative reaction, however, they just might have second thoughts about wearing their precious fur in public again. Don’t shout abuse at them. Shouting abuse at people is never a good thing to do.

LOBBY
Lobby your local political representatives. Ring them up. Email them. Call to see them at their weekly clinic. Be polite, be insistent, be passionate. Don’t let them fob you off. Use your social media platforms to share posts from animal rights organisations.

GET ACTIVE
Become an active campaigner against fur by joining one of the many animal rights organisations that have anti-fur campaigns (see our Links page). Some of these campaigns target celebrities and they have been very successful at naming and shaming fur wearers over the years. If there isn’t a local campaigning group in your town or locality, ask one of the animal rights organisations if you can do some campaigning on their behalf. Most groups will be delighted to hear from you.
Write to newspapers and glossy magazines, pointing out the extensive use of rabbit fur in garments, in particular collar trimmings, sleeve trimmings, but also gloves, handbags etc.

BE RESOLUTE, BE STRONG
Finally, be resolute and be strong. The fur-bearing animals have no voice (or none that we can hear). Let your compassionate, passionate voice be theirs!

Foie Gras

A European Council Directive states:
“No animal shall be provided with food or liquid in a manner…
which may cause unnecessary suffering or injury”

Foie gras is a French term meaning ‘fatty liver’. It is produced by force-feeding birds (geese and ducks) excessive amounts of high-protein food, usually corn. The common method used to feed the caged or penned birds is by means of a 12 to 16-inch plastic or metal tube, shoved down their throats and attached to a pressurized pump. The force-feeding is typically performed twice daily for up to two weeks for ducks and three to four times daily for up to four weeks for geese.

 

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP FOIS GRAS
A Change of Heart

Read about farmers who recognise farm animals as friends, not food.

The force-feeding causes the birds’ livers to swell to up to ten times their normal size. Many birds have difficulty standing because their engorged livers distend their abdomens, and they may tear out their own feathers and attack each other out of stress.

The birds, who in their natural habitat will spend most of their time in and around water, have no access to open water. Their entire lives are spent in close confinement, thus they cannot exercise or express their natural behavioural instincts. Unable to bathe or groom themselves, they become coated with excrement mixed with the oils that would normally protect their feathers from water.

Health problems include lameness due to foot infections as a result of standing on metal grilles during the gavage (French term for the force-feeding practice); oesophagus damage; fungal infections; diarrhoea; impaired liver function; heat stress; lesions; and fractures of the sternum. Some ducks die of aspiration pneumonia, which occurs when grain is forced into the ducks’ lungs or when birds choke on their own vomit.

Since foie gras is made from the livers of only male ducks, all female ducklings – forty million of them each year in France alone – are useless to the industry and are tossed into grinders while they’re alive, so that their bodies can be processed into fertilizer or cat food.

As of 2016, only five European countries still produce fois gras: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Hungary and Spain. Many countries have banned the practice. However, foie gras can still be imported into and purchased in all EU states. In 2012, eight members of the European Parliament called for foie gras to be banned across Europe.

Force-feeding animals is against the law in many countries, including Israel, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

The state of California has banned the production of fois gras.

India has banned the importation of foie gras, meaning that it cannot legally be sold anywhere in the country.

Fois Gras… What You Can Do….

NEVER BUY FOIS GRAS

DON’T SHOP IN A SHOP THAT SELLS FOIS GRAS

DON’T EAT IN A RESTAURANT THAT SERVES FOIS GRAS

SPEAK OUT
Speak out. Use your voice. Express your opinion. Tell the shopkeeper or restaurant owner/manager why you are taking your business elsewhere.

LOBBY
Lobby your local political representatives. Ring them up. Email them. Call to see them at their weekly clinic. Be polite, be insistent, be passionate. Don’t let them fob you off. Use your social media platforms to share posts from animal rights organisations.

GET ACTIVE
Become an active campaigner against fois gras by joining one of the many animal rights organisations that have anti-fois gras campaigns (see our Links page). If there isn’t a local campaigning group in your town or locality, ask one of the animal rights organisations if you can do some campaigning on their behalf. Most groups will be delighted to hear from you.

Look out for newspaper and magazine articles which glorify fois gras. Respond by writing to the editor, outlining how fois gras is produced and suggesting that the publication should not be promoting it in any way.

BE RESOLUTE, BE STRONG
Finally, be resolute and be strong. The geese and the ducks have no voice (or none that we can hear). Let your compassionate, passionate voice be theirs!