China paying for cruel ‘Monster Fox’ fur

Recently, the international media coverage of Finlands “monster foxes” shocked people across the world. (see examples from Dailymail and Dragon TV). Pictures and videos taken from five Finnish fur farms show that in order to obtain larger sized pelts, fur animals have been deliberately made obese, affecting their health and welfare to a shocking extent. While many people find this cruelty unbelievable, a recent study by ACTAsia finds that the Chinese market is the driving force behind Finnish “monster foxes”!

China is paying for the “monster foxes”!

Most people do not realise that China is the biggest player in the current fur market.  According to information from the fur industry, Chinese fur buyers have been highly active in the global fur trade. Insider knowledge reveals that a vast majority – as high as 90% of pelts sold at Saga Furs auction – are imported to China. This makes the Chinese the main consumers of “monster fox” fur.

“China is already the world’s largest consumer of fur,” said Ms Pei Su, executive director of ACTAsia. “On the international scene, celebrities and fashion brands have been boycotting fur products originating from these cruel Nordic fur farms. However, consumers are unaware of this and continue to buy these fur products. Some people even consider that high quality comes hand in hand with expensive Nordic fur.”

(Click HERE to watch the complete footage: Finnish language with English subtitles)

Cruel fur creeping into various fashion items

In China and the rest of the world, fur has been creeping back into fashion, widely used as trim for keyrings, bobbles on hats and in other kinds of products. The small quantity of fur on an item tricks consumers into thinking it is fake or they simply do not  realise that even this small product carries with it a vast amount of animal cruelty. In the era of globalization, the fur trade is no longer a single country issue. Chinese people are currently buying large amounts of fur products, which are being gradually abandoned by western consumers. Fur farms in Finland and other countries continue to produce these cruel animal products. This is the reason why fur farming in some countries is still flourishing, with devastating effects on animal welfare.

Monster foxes weighing up to six times their normal weight and suffering from multiple diseases

In a natural environment, a fox weighs about 3.5 kilograms. In a fur farm, it can weigh up to 19.4 kg. In their investigation (spring 2017) the Finnish animal protection organization Oikeutta eläimille (Justice for Animals) showed that through genetic selection and feeding with high-fat food, these foxes grow rapidly and can therefore hardly bear the weight of their own thick fur. A report from the Finnish Agricultural Research Center (Maastouden tutkimuskeskus) pointed out that in such narrow and uncomfortable cages, more than 20% of the foxes were seriously obese and more than 80% of the “monster foxes” suffered from damaged feet. Even worse, according to a report from the Finnish Natural Resources Institute in 2016, these blue foxes, known as  “monster foxes” by the media, find it difficult to move, due to their limb deformities and excessive weight.

Strong Fur Free movement

A number of European countries have banned fur farming in recent years, whilst celebrities and the fashion industry are also increasingly recognising the cruelty hidden behind fur clothing. In recent years, names such as Zara, Hugo Boss and Armani have joined the Fur Free Retailer scheme and celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Penelope Cruz have expressed their condemnation of fur on ethical grounds.

Fur Free Retailer brands

For more information on all things Fur Free, please contact ACTAsia 

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Image copyright: Oikeutta eläimille. The first picture is made exclusively available from Oikeutta eläimille for this press release)