Undercover investigators from Swiss Animals Protection/EAST International recently toured fur farms in China’s Hebei Province, and it quickly became clear why outsiders are banned from visiting. There are no regulations governing fur farms in China—farmers can house and slaughter animals however they see fit—meaning miserable lives and painful deaths for countless animals every year. The investigators wrote: “Conditions on Chinese fur farms make a mockery of the most elementary animal welfare standards. … In their lives and their unspeakable deaths, these animals have been denied even the simplest acts of kindness.”
To their horror, investigators found that foxes, minks, rabbits, and other animals are still alive and struggling desperately when workers flip them onto their backs or hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them. When workers begin to cut the skin and fur from an animal’s leg, the free limbs kick and writhe. Workers stomp on the necks and heads of animals who struggle too hard to allow a clean cut. When the fur is finally peeled off over the animals’ heads, their naked, bloody bodies are thrown onto a pile of those who have gone before them. Some are still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly as long as 10 minutes after they have been skinned. One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on top of the heap of carcasses who still had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and stare into the camera.
Because fur’s country of origin can’t be traced, everyone who wears fur shares the blame for the horrific conditions on Chinese fur farms. The only way to prevent such unimaginable cruelty is never to wear any fur.