China’s Fur Trade and its position in the Global Fur Industry

ACTAsia’s extensive report on China’s multi-billion-dollar fur industry exposes brutal animal treatment and calls for urgent action to end cruel practices. 

COVID-19 has impacted the global industry, providing opportunities for the domestic fur market in China. The report highlights the inhumane killing methods and cramped conditions for fur animals. While public opinion on fur is changing, demand for fur products is still strong, with many consumers unaware of the suffering involved. The report urges greater regulation, transparency, traceability, education for informed choices, and promotion of sustainable alternatives to fur products. 

Note: This 2022 publication uses data from 2020/2021.


  • COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020 devastated European fur farms, leading to bans and farm closures, while China’s industry thrived and now dominates global production.
  • In 2016 China’s fur industry was worth an estimated $55.98 billion.
  • Wild Fur animals were added into China’s Animal Husbandry Law and reclassified as livestock in 2021, meaning they have even less protection. This forges a pathway for other species to be viewed as commercial livestock.
  • Although the popularity and production of fur are in decline in North America and Europe, demand in China remains strong.
  • Labels on fur garments sold in shops are often misleading or unclear and some are found to have been altered.
  • Raccoon Dogs are finally being recognised as a potential intermediary host for COVID-19, as suggested in our 2020 report. This intensifies concerns for public health risks associated with intensive wildlife farming.

Download the full report

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“The rapid detection of COVID-19 outbreaks in mink farms globally confirms the threat of mink as a reservoir for the disease”

Executive summary

Download the executive summary report here.

“Pollution from fur factory farms often has a devastating effect on local waterbodies, groundwater, soil and air quality.”