: Recent News

China designers and media pledge fur-free future at Shangai fashion evens

SHANGHAI, 5 JULY 2018 – Three top China fashion designers announced their commitment to an entirely fur-free future at ACTAsia’s Fur-Free Fashion Forum and Gala in Shanghai last month.

Grace Chen, Mary Ma, and Michael Wong have all signed up to the Fur Free Retailer scheme (FFR). They join almost 40 fashion labels and designers from China, who help make up an ever-growing global total that currently numbers 886. Today also marks the launch of a pioneering new Chinese Fur Free Retailer website with news and updates for members and supporters of the FFR scheme in China.

Grace Chen, whose clients include Oprah Winfrey and China’s first lady Peng Liyuan, states

“As fashion designers we can come up with plenty of ideas to replace the qualities of fur that people used to love, and offer many alternatives. In China we would love to use fashion as a common language for people across the world, promoting fur-free. Live with your heart, and without fur.”

Movie star and fashion label owner Michael Wong also commented to media:

“We are proud to announce that this year our collections will be Fur Free. There’s no need for the exploitation and pollution that comes with real fur – the choice of faux fur is extensive and beautiful.”

Jerri Ng, editor of fashion magazine InStyle China, also took the opportunity to announce at the Shanghai events that this celebrated title would become China’s first fur-free publication.

ACTAsia, an international non-profit organisation, has been working to educate the public and retailers in China about compassionate consumption for more than a decade. The high level of support seen this year marks a turning-point for the acceptable face of fashion. As the hub of the global fur trade, producing the largest number of pelts with the biggest market for fur clothing, China’s new direction reflects how fashions are moving away from fur across the world.

ACTAsia’s CEO, Pei Su, said:

“We are very proud that several big names in fashion have joined the movement against real fur and taken part in our events, which help publicise the reasons fur has no future. Sustainable, responsible, fur-free – these terms are becoming a prerequisite for fashion labels with self-respect, and the respect of the public.”

Educational campaign ‘Animals Are Not Clothes’ tours Belarus

BELARUS, JUNE 2018 – Last month, the anti-fur educational publication ‘Animals Are Not Clothes’ was presented at the international scientific conference Sakharov Readings 2018: Environmental Problems of the 21st Century, in the Belarus capital of Minsk. The presentation was part of a long-term campaign, organised by FFA member organisation Ecoetika, that aims to create awareness among the new generation about the cruelty of fur production.

The ‘Animals Are Not Clothes’ campaign, that is supported by the Fur Free Alliance grant programme, has so far held educational events in the cities of Minsk, Brest, Gomel, Grodno and Kobrin and continues to tour the country.

Animal cruelty is a subject that has not gained much attention so far in Belarus. Although more than 150.000 animals are killed annually on fur farms in Belarus, the country does not have any legislation in place to protect fur-bearing animals and suffers from a general lack of awareness on animal welfare issues among the public.

Ludmila Loginovskaya, director of Ecoetika, says:

“We conducted a sociological survey in Minsk in September 2017, which showed that only 5.7% of the Belarusian citizens consider the inhumane nature of fur. Belarus is a post-Soviet country and needs a large-scale educational campaign to protect animals, since it is not yet accepted to think about animal welfare.”

To create more public awareness about the animal suffering in the fur industry, the ‘Animal Are Not Clothes’ campaign will continue to reach out to the young Belarusian generation and plans educational events on a number of festivals, such as the Festival of Books in Gomel, the Pasternak Ecological Festival in Minsk.

 

 

 

Luxembourg 10th European country to ban fur farming

LUXEMBOURG, 15 JUNE 2018 – This week, Luxembourg became the 10th European country to ban fur farming. A new progressive animal welfare law, that was proposed in 2016 by Minister of Agriculture Fernand Etgen, was passed that includes a prohibition on fur farming.

The animal welfare act will go into effect in October 2018. Since Luxembourg currently has no fur farming industry, the law will mainly prevent new mink farms to be built. All information about the new law can be found on the internet portal: https://deiereschutzgesetz.lu/.

The new welfare act is based upon the assumption that animals are “living non-human sentient beings with a nervous system scientifically capable of feeling pain and experiencing other emotions” including “suffering and anguish”.

In May 2016 the Minister of Agriculture of Luxembourg, Fernand Etgen, presented the new law designed ‘to ensure the dignity, the protection of life, safety and welfare of animals. Etgen said:

“Animal welfare legislation requires profound reform because of what scientific advances had revealed about animals, and because of changes in how animals are viewed by human society.”

mink farm

Source: Joanne McArthur/ We Animals

The Luxembourg Government Council, states:

“Animals are no longer considered as a thing, but as gifted non-human living beings with sensitivity and holders of certain rights.”

Luxembourg is the 10th European country that has decided the t outlaw the cruel practice of fur farming. Read more about fur bans.

 

Belgrade’s Make Fur History event counters fur trade’s propaganda

BELGRADE, 8 JUNE 2018 – Yesterday, the Make Fur History exhibition took place in the Serbian capital Belgrade and brought together international experts, lawmakers and media representatives to discuss the negative impact of fur farming. The exhibition, that was hosted by our local Serbian partner Sloboda za Zivotinje, exposed the scientific facts about the factory production of animal fur and stressed the urgency of maintaining the Serbian national ban on fur factory farms.

The timely exhibition follows just days after the Serbian parliament discussed a cancellation of the Serbian ban on fur farming during a “public session” on Tuesday, from which non-governmental organizations were entirely excluded. The ban was to go into full effect in 2019, after a 10-year phase-out period. However, blatant propaganda of the fur trade lobby, such as scandalous misinformation on animal welfare and fur farming legislation across Europe, has persuaded the Serbian government to consider withdrawing the 2009 law.

Maida Sabeta, campaign coordinator of the south-east European Fur Free Forever campaign, says:

“Chinchilla fur farming is a very small sector in Serbia, with sparse economic benefits and hardly any law enforcement. Maintaining this industry means supporting a gray economy or even black economy in Serbia.”

The event aimed to counter the false information spread by the fur trade by addressing animal ethics and welfare – in particular the welfare problems of chinchillas, the main species reared for fur in Serbia – the legislative progress in Europe and why the fur industry’s own welfare indicators, WelFur, are not in line with good animal welfare.

Along with local campaigners Mark Glover, board member of the Fur Free Alliance and Respect for Animals Campaign Director, took part in the roundtable panel:

“The arguments for Serbia to maintain its ban on chinchilla farming are overwhelming and the eyes of the world are now firmly focused on what happens next. It would be a tragedy if the bizarre campaign by the fur trade, based on insulting supporters of the ban, was to succeed. The Fur Free Alliance will do everything it can to ensure the ban comes into force next January 1.”

Prof. dr. Stevan Lilić, Professor of Law Faculty at the Belgrade University, stated:

“The issue of chinchilla fur farming is above all a moral issue. Serbian lawmakers are now pushing hard to overturn the law that was passed to ban this practice in 2009. Their motivation to cancelling the 2009 legislation is entirely unjustified.”

The Make Fur History exhibition was launched in the European Parliament in January this year and is meant to supply lawmakers with scientific evidence about the negative impact of fur farming on animals, the environment and local communities and the urgency for more national bans.

Czech Trade Inspection Authority: majority of fur items mislabelled

PRAGUE, 5 JUNE 2018 – The majority of fur items or fur-trimmed items in Czech Republic are mislabelled or not labelled at all. This alarming conclusion, that resulted from an investigation of Czech animal protection organisation Freedom for Animals in early 2017, is backed by new research results of the Czech Trade Inspection Authority (CTIA).

Between November 2017 and January 2018, the CTIA conducted an inspection to examine whether fur labelling in Czech is carried out in compliance with the existing legislation. The results are alarming: only 2 out of 12 control samples were labelled correctly. Four items did not mention real fur at all; five items were not labelled in compliance with the Regulation No 1007/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on textile fibre names, and one item did not contain a label in the Czech language. The items that were tested were mainly jackets and hats with fur trim or fur pom poms.

cat fur sold as faux fur

The CTIA carried out this inspection following similar research by Freedom for Animals published in March 2017. In fall 2016, the organisation inspected and documented 53 items containing real fur, with alarming results. Lucie Moravcová, anti-fur campaign coordinator of Freedom for Animals, says:

“We found out that 81 % of the samples were not labelled as containing parts of animal origin or fur as they should be according to the relevant legislation.”

For the vast majority of Czech shoppers who reject the cruelty of the fur trade, trying to buy only fake fur can be a real challenge. A public opinion poll, conducted by Focus Agency and published in spring 2017, showed that 85 % of people are not interested to buy real fur and 77 % expect to find correct information on clothing labels. Moravcová adds:

“This topic is highly delicate for customers – the majority of people in the Czech Republic does not want to buy real fur. It is important to be aware of the fact that faux fur is increasingly similar to real animal fur both in appearance and touch as well as price. Thus, these characteristics, formerly used as a way of distinguishing real fur from faux fur, are not reliable anymore. It is clear that current legislation does not guarantee proper protection for the customers. We consider the regulation insufficient and we believe it should state in detail those parts of animal origin in question. However, the regulation must be observed in the first place.”

The Czech investigation was part of an European collaboration of the member organisations of the Fur Free Alliance. Across 10 countries in Europe, 667 textile products containing real fur were inspected. 68 % of the samples did not contain the required information. In September 2017, FFA representatives presented the results of the investigation to the Members of the European Parliament after which they met with the EU commissioners in March 2018 to stress the need to improve the legislation to ensure better labelling of real fur.

More than one year after the publication of the results, European consumers are still duped into buying real fur because a large part of fur items remain mislabelled or not labelled at all, as recent findings of Four Paws in Germany and the Humane Society International in the UK have proven once more.

The Fur Free Alliance will continue to address the high levels of non-compliance and the inadequacy of the current labelling legislation across Europe. The new evidence, as a result of the CTIA inspection, will   to the European Commission.

Jo Swabe, Senio Director of Public Affairs of FFA member organisation Humane Society International/Europe, says:

“The CTIA inspection confirms the results of investigations carried out by FFA member organizations in 10 European countries: huge number of products are not labelled in compliance with Article 12, Regulation on textile fibre names. We proved that the current legislation does not serve its purpose and it is time to take necessary steps to prevent further misleading practices as customers have the right to know what they are buying. The European Commission must act to ensure clearly labelled fur parts.”

The Czech society is increasingly critical towards fur production. The public concerns and concerns on animal welfare led the Czech Republic Senate to vote with an overhelming majority for a prohibition of fur farming in July 2019. The ban on fur farming will go into effect on February 1, 2019. With this decision, Czech Republic became the 9th European country to decide for a fur farming ban.

NGO’s denied access to Serbian public session on fur farming ban

BELGRADE, 4 JUNE 2018 – Fur industry groups have upped their lobbying of the Serbian government to debate a cancelation of the Serbian fur farming ban in a public session scheduled for tomorrow, June 5. Due to heavy pressure and a campaign of misinformation of the fur lobby, the fur farming ban – that should go into effect in 2019 – is now at a severe risk. By denying all animal protection organisations access to the public session, the Serbian government is shockingly undermining the principles of democracy.

With a 10-year phase-out period, Serbian fur farmers have been given the opportunity to transition to a more economically stable and sustainable industry. With less than one year left before the transitional period runs out, any change to the previously agreed upon legislation would raise serious questions regarding the Serbian legislative process.

The Fur Free Alliance urges the Serbian government to stay true to its legislative commitment to ban the farming of animals for their fur, and save sentient beings from a cruel life and death. Read our full letter to the Serbian government.

Chinchillas are they only animals kept for fur in Serbia. The intense battery cage system used on fur farms deprives chinchillas from the opportunity to express their natural behaviour – such as running and jumping – and causes severe welfare problems. International studies have shown behavioral disorders, such as stereotypies, pelt-biting and infant mortality, are highly common on chinchilla fur farms. Learn more about welfare problems on chinchilla fur farms.

The public session about the fur farming ban is scheduled just two days prior to the Make Fur History expo, that will take place in Belgrade on Thursday, June 7. The exhibition – that was launched in the European Parliament on January 23 and is now touring Europe – invites lawmakers and stakeholders to discuss the negative impact of fur farming on animals, the environment and local communities and shows the urgency for more national bans.