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OPINION: Furriers Stand Against Cruelty to Animals

By Contributed content 27 February 2015
As the world’s biggest fur fair is now running in Hong Kong, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify some misunderstandings some may have on the fur industry. The fur trade advocates for the humane treatment of animals and opposes to animal cruelty. Hong Kong is a leader in the global fur industry, with 75% of the world’s fur and fur garments re-exported through HK, bringing HK$1.8 billion in exports last year and providing significant employment and economic benefits to the city. Currently, over 95% of fur materials imported into Hong Kong come from modern fur farms in Northern Europe and America, where inhumane treatment of animals is strictly prohibited. These farms are subject to strict welfare standards set down by the European Union, covering all matters of animal care, from farming environment to stockmanship and inspection, from nutrition to housing and veterinary care. Fur farming also provides a lot of animal by-products for other industries. In addition to fur, farmed fur provides fine oils for skin care, organic fertilizers, and other products, or may be rendered down to provide raw materials for a wide range of products, from pet food to tyres, paint, and even cosmetics. The efficient use of farmed animal parts maximise the use of resources. Wild fur-bearing animals, on the other hand, are a renewable natural resource that will reproduce indefinitely if their habitat is viable, allowing a harvest of the surplus year after year without threatening the survival of the species. Using nature's surplus in a responsible manner, not allowing them to deplete or deteriorate while safeguarding the environment, is the principle of fur trade. The fur industry uses wild fur only from animals in superabundance. We also work closely with other governments to ensure that the fur skins used do not come from endangered species. The fur industry has always been a well-regulated industry. To enhance the public’s full confidence in local fur products, the Hong Kong Fur Federation introduces an “Animal Well-being Charter” stating that our members agree to stand against any cruelty to animals; respect well-being of animals used in our trade; endeavour to improve the environment of fur farms on issues of Animal Well-being; cooperate with suppliers that abide to local animal welfare laws and regulations; support mechanisms for International Animal Farm certifications; strengthen communication and the exchange of information among members on issues related to Animal Well-being. The annual Hong Kong International Fur & Fashion Fair is reputed as one of the most important calendar events for global buyers sourcing fur products. Local furriers and designers get to showcase their distinguished tailoring technique and creative fur design.

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