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Join us this week in calling on the Burnside Council to ban the sale of fur.

Burnside Council [Source Beneaththelandslide at English Wikipedia under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. No changes made.]
Burnside Council Building, sourced from Beneaththelandslide under a Creative Commons license. 
The Burnside Council could become the very first South Australian council to ban the sale of fur and exotic animal skins at markets and public events.

Support for the ban follows the startling results of laboratory tests on clothing and children’s toys at Australian markets (The Age). Forensic testing, led by the Animal Justice Party, uncovered the truth behind the labels on beanies, coats, plush toys, and other items.

Products for sale are often wrongly labelled to hide the cruel origin of these items from potential customers. Products labelled as rabbit fur have actually been shown to come from racoons or racoon dogs. Most shockingly, items labeled as polyester faux fur have also been shown to consist of real racoon fur.

This means that Australians are unwittingly supporting industries responsible for animal cruelty and the loss of wildlife. The animals trapped in fur farms are “kept in cages for months waiting to be ‘processed’ and can be killed through gassing, anal electrocution, or by being skinned alive or bludgeoned to death” as part of the international fur trade. (The Age) These findings are particularly worrying, as scientists have long noted that animal welfare concerns may go under-reported in the wildlife trade (Baker et al 2013).

These animal products are being illegally imported into Australia in violation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. And fur isn’t just a legal issue – it actively threatens ecosystems and human health. The global wildlife trade can encourage poaching and run the risk of introducing species into native ecosystems (Missios 2004; Garcia-Diaz et al 2017). The wildlife trade is also a ready source for new infectious diseases, particularly concerning as the world continues to grapple with the devastating COVID-19 pandemic (Karesh et al 2005).

The welfare of animals, the protection of ecosystems, and public health – these are all reasons why the public is also turning against fur. In the 2010’s, many councils in California voted to ban fur, culminating in the success of a state-wide ban in 2019. Sao Paulo voted to ban fur in 2015, as did three city councils in Manchester, Devon and London in 2018 and 2019. There have also been further bans on fur farming and importation in New Zealand, Japan and Europe (PETA). Even the Queen, a long-time fur aficionado, announced in 2019 that she was making the switch to faux fur (The Telegraph).

This coming week, Burnside Council is voting to become the first council in South Australia to ban the sale of fur at markets and public events. Join us in supporting Burnside Council and encouraging them to make history.

Ways you can help:

  • Join the Animal Justice Party as a member
  • Write a letter to your local Councillor
  • Spread the word to family and friends
By Ben Kluvanek
Ecologist and economist, Animal Justice party

Scientific Sources

  • Baker et al 2013, Rough trade: Animal welfare in the global wildlife trade, Bioscience, 63(12), 928-938.
  • Garcia-Diaz et al 2017, The illegal wildlife trade is a likely source of alien species, Conservation Letters, 10(6), 690-698.
  • Karesh et al 2005, Wildlife trade and global disease emergence, Emerging Infectious Diseases, 11(7), 1000-1002.
  • Missios 2004, Wildlife trade and endangered species protection, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 48(4), 613-627.
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