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The annual global event, taking place since 1986, is one of most widely attended annual demonstrations of the animal welfare movement, and aims to educate people about the cruelty of fur production through protests, education, and the promotion of cruelty-free fashion.
Held every year on the last Friday of November, just before the beginning of the busiest shopping period of the year, worldwide actions were held in countries from Bolivia to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The day seeks to educate consumers about the extent of cruelty endured by the one billion animals killed annually, mainly on farms, but also in the wild with traps.
Fur farms now produce about 85 % of the world’s fur, of which China, with no legal animal welfare protection and appalling conditions for farmed animals, is now responsible for four-fifths of global production. After a downturn in the industry years ago, fur is now enjoying a renaissance thanks to ever-cheaper production, largely in China, a growing world consumer base with more disposable income, and ignorance or indifference among the public about the suffering of fur trade animals.
Every year, an estimated 60 million mink and 6.5 million foxes are killed on fur farms alone. If rabbits are included, the number of animals killed every year solely for their fur may far exceed one billion. Cats and dogs are also commonly used in Chinese fur production. Conditions at the farms and methods of killing the animals are always intrinsically cruel, including for Origin Assured fur.
Fur is now found on high streets all over the world in coats, handbags, gloves, scarves, toys and even homeware, and increasingly as fur-trim on products, which often leads to even greater levels of cruelty inflicted.
Much-touted fake, or faux, fur is also no guarantee of being cruelty-free, as it may in fact contain real fur, due to the non-requirement to label globally, and the ever-cheaper prices of Chinese real fur. As faux fur becomes more realistic and real fur ever harder to identify, due to increased modification with dyes, WSPA has identified a few ways in which consumers can tell the difference between the two.