|Announcement by China Fur Commission, China Leather Industry Association|
Recently, an article entitled "Fun Fur?" was published by the international animal protection organizations including that of Switzerland, and TV programs surrounding the publication have been broadcasted by many stations in a number of countries. The article made an extensive report on the fur farming and fur processing industry in the People's Republic of China, especially in Hebei Province.
We strongly support animal protection advocated by the article, which is what Chinese husbandry has always been upholding. We believe that ethical treatment of animals is the foundation of fur farming. However, we would like to point out some distorted and unjustified report made by the article on the Chinese fur farms so as to present a right understanding of the facts.
As a developing country, China has made considerable economic development in the past decade, but its overall economic level is far behind that of Western developed countries, including industry, agriculture, science and technology and people's living standard. The same gap also exists between the average level of Chinese husbandry and that in Europe and the U.S. Because of fast development on poor foundation, some problems may appear in certain areas during the development. China has been learning from countries in Europe and America in terms of advanced technologies, environment, and facilities of husbandry while upholding the guidelines of ethic treatment of animals during the development of Chinese husbandry. In animal slaughter, we adopt international practice such as electric shock and injection. Moreover, due to investment from western countries, management and technologies of many fur farms adopt western husbandry standard. However, while ignoring most Chinese fur farms with favorable environment and facilities, the article painstakingly focuses on the seamy side and makes an unjustified generalization, which has damaged the reputation of Chinese fur farming industry. The report and comment are unfair to the Chinese fur farming industry.
Furthermore, we doubt some viewpoints and material of the report to be invented or exaggerated. Pictures showing animals being skinned alive are obviously plotted. All those with common sense would not choose this slaughter method to attain fur. Reasons are as follows: First, the animals are bred for quality fur and those with a thinking mind know this method would seriously affect the quality of the fur. Second, animals being skinned alive would struggle and might hurt the skinner, which would increase the difficulty of skinning process. At last, the method is a very inefficient one to attain fur. To a fur farm with hundreds, even thousands of animals, it's ridiculous and infeasible to adopt the method.
The article also made some irresponsible remarks such as that China has no regulations on animal husbandry and the Chinese government overlooks fur animal farming. Chinese fur animal farms are under joint administration of China's State forestry administration and Ministry of Agriculture. Rules and regulations related to fur animal farming include: "Wild Animal Protection Law of the People's Republic of China" passed and implemented by the Fourth Session of the Seventh National People's Congress on Nov. 8, 1988, the "Regulations for the Implementation of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Terrestrial Wildlife" ratified by the State Council on Feb.12, 1992 and issued by China's Forestry Ministry on Mar.1, 1992, and "Management Procedures on License for Domestication and Breeding of Wildlife under Special State Protection" approved by China's Forestry Ministry on Dec.30, 1990 and implemented on Apr.1, 1991. All these regulations have clauses on animal farming and the "Husbandry Law" being drafted specifies animal welfare including farming and transportation. In addition, relevant standards have specific regulations on welfare of fur animals. Additionally, some national and local standards have clear definitions on breeding conditions, cage dimensions, nutrition composition and also immunity, which assures the due animal welfare during their raising.
In conclusion, we believe the article both failed to present a factual picture of the current situation of Chinese fur farming industry and made an irresponsible distortion of Chinese fur industry, which have gravely affected the benefits of Chinese fur industry.
As the only legal national organization of the Chinese fur industry, China Fur Commission of the China Leather Industry Association is devoted to standardizing Chinese husbandry and improving welfare of fur animals. We welcome any helpful and constructive advice to Chinese husbandry industry from our international peers. But at the same time, we strongly object to unjustified generalization and willful distorted report by certain organizations.
China Fur Commission, China Leather Industry Association
Feb. 28, 2005