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What is the RSPCA’s view on killing animals for their fur and skin?

RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of any animal where the purpose of their death is primarily to produce a non-essential luxury item like fur or skin. Fur and leather is sourced by either trapping or farming an animal just for its fur, or as byproducts of the other production industries. In Australia, the only animals farmed for their skin are crocodiles. Fur and leather produced in Australia from other animals, such as cattle, are byproducts of the meat industry and the animals are not killed primarily for their skin.

In North America, fur is obtained by both trapping and farming, with chinchillas, foxes and mink being farmed.  In some Asian countries, dogs and cats are skinned for their fur. Much of the fur used in trims and cheap garments sold in Australia is from farmed rabbits and originates in China where there is very little regard or protection for the welfare of animals. Compared with other animal production industries, the fur trade is particularly cruel. Animals farmed for fur are often bred intensively in small barren wire cages. Both farmed and trapped animals can suffer a painful, distressing death.

As long as people are happy to buy and wear animal fur, this trade will continue to exist.

If you are opposed to the use of fur or skin, there are a number of things you can do. Don’t buy any fur or skin products unless you know that they were produced humanely and as a byproduct of the meat industry. Bear in mind that most fur products sold in Australia are imported and would not meet this standard. You could also lend your support to the Fur Free Alliance at https://www.furfreealliance.com. This is a global coalition of animal welfare organisations that have banded together to take action against fur farming.

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Updated on June 29, 2022
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