Beijing Olympics 2008 Part Three: The Deadly Fur Trade in China

As the world eagerly gears up for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China’s record of animal cruelty is being revealed to all. At the country’s fur farms, foxes, rabbits, mink and other furbearing animals are exposed to extreme weather conditions and confined to small, barren wire mesh cages before being transported under horrendous conditions to be skinned.

A yearlong undercover investigation in China’s Hebei Province conducted by the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan and Swiss Animal Protection revealed that, prior to being skinned, the animals are pulled from their cages, thrown to the ground, and bludgeoned in an attempt to stun them. Unfortunately, many animals are still alive and fully conscious during the final barbaric process of being hung up by their legs to be skinned.

China supplies more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States. While many fur products contain a "Made in China" label, additional pelts often move through international auction houses and are purchased there before being distributed to manufacturers all over the world. Products may read "Made in Italy" or "Made in France," even though the fur they contain originated in China.

Moreover, a loophole in the federal Fur Products Labeling Act exempts garments that cost less than $150 from truth-in-labeling provisions. Therefore, while the import of dog and cat fur is illegal in the United States, garments containing such fur can be found in retail stores. Whether or not you are a consumer, we hope you will voice your objections to this gruesome trade.

You Can Make a Difference

1. If you choose to purchase fur, please ask retailers for documentation on the true source of their products. Be aware that fur products under a certain value may not be labeledatall.

2. Contact the Chinese ambassador and urge him to China and urge him to put pressure on the Chinese government to stop the cruel practices associated with the treatment of animals killedforfur. Write to:

His Excellency Zhou Wenzhong
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
202-328-2574; 202-328-2582 (fax)