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Monday, 6 March, 2000, 12:08 GMT
Is fur fashionable again?



Millions of domestic cats and dogs are being butchered in Asia for their fur, according to video footage uncovered by animal charity the RSPCA. It is then reportedly being imported to Europe and the USA to produce clothing.

Do you think fur is creeping back into people's wardrobes? The Countess of Wessex raised hackles by sporting a fox-fur hat recently, and it also made appearances on the catwalks at London Fashion Week.

Would you wear fur, or do you think the market should be shut down altogether? Tell us what you think. HAVE YOUR SAY There are synthetic materials which are far warmer and anyhow, fur should be worn inwards for warmth. Therefore fur coats etc. are just ego-boosters.
Linda, Italy



Fur is another way to rebel against the PC culture from past decades.

Ksenija Pajcin, Yugoslavia
Fur is vanity, but so are beauty products, which harm both human and animals. Suppose many people don't make difference between fur and silicon - as long as it is fashionable. If overweight women were in hype, I'd guess we'd have white sugar and chocolate shortage in no time. Besides, I suppose people are very tired from politically correct 90's and sporting fur is just another way to rebel against the counter-productive PC culture from past decades.
Ksenija Pajcin, Yugoslavia

If people want to wear fur or not its their choice, what I object to is the rabid hatred and abuse anti-fur campaigners give to people who wear fur. Perhaps they would be better served to use their obviously considerable energy for more important issues - and there are millions more. Most involve humans and their suffering. But maybe that is the whole point, many animal rights campaigners have a hatred of people...
Chris Davies, UK

Anyone who wears fur should have to be present at the skinning and slaughter of the animals used - and look deeply into its eyes! But then the animal would only see a greater void, wouldn't he?
L. Allyn, USA



Fur is morally and ethically wrong. Anyone who wears or promotes it is either uniformed or extremely cruel. I would love to see it stop being sold.
Crystal Kendell, USA

I have a rabbit fur hat I wear in the Canadian winter; it is made in China. Does anyone think the Chinese killed the rabbit to sell me the fur? I think that rabbit was for it, whether or not the Chinese had the added option of selling me the fur.
David Alexander Mitchell, Canada



We ought to stop the massacre of animals for meat, hides and other body parts before we start to become so sentimental over a few selected species.

Hugh LS MacCamley Langer, Brunei Darussalam
The hypocrisy about animal fur is indicative of how contemporary human priorities have become totally unreasonable and absolutely without logical sense.
We ought to stop the massacre of animals for meat, hides and other body parts before we start to become so sentimental over a few selected species such as cats and dogs. In any case, there are so many of them, it is about time they were culled. Often, they are an unmitigated nuisance and their owners usually absurdly irrational about them.
Hugh LS MacCamley Langer, Brunei Darussalam

I don't know why it continues to amaze me, I mean, look at the way we people treat each other. It's really no wonder that we (being at the top of the food chain) abuse, mistreat, eat and wear another species...we did it to ourselves. Anyone remember the skin lamps the nazi's made? Wearing fur or any other animal by-product a reflection of our human greed. That is all.
Deb, USA

Whether the argument is moral, sartorial or both, the fact remains that the fur is always going to look far better on the animal that was born with it than it would on any human.
Eileen, UK



When I see someone wearing fur I know that person has a cold heart.

Lynne Mitchell, Scotland
Fur is cruel whether you are trapping animals in the wild; keeping wild animals confined in cramped and unnatural cages; or betraying the trust of pet animals by killing them. When I see someone wearing fur I know that person has a cold heart.
Personally, I don't eat or wear any product from an animal; and I also try to buy fair trade and organic products as I respect human rights and the environment too. Compassion should be extended to all sentient beings.
Lynne Mitchell, Scotland

Many people in the UK put a great deal of emphasis on so-called "animal rights" - for a nation which is apparently impervious to a great deal of human suffering this seems hypocritical to say the least. By the way, fur is still worn happily in most of Europe - and I'm sure there are fewer old people dying of hypothermia each year in those countries too.
Timothy Huw Davies, England

Did those who could afford to buy fur ever stop buying it for moral reasons, or just because it went out of fashion? I seriously doubt that people wearing fur have the intelligence to make moral decisions and have to study magazines in order to decide what to buy.
Duncan Drury, UK

I'd never wear fur. The ethical arguments would always sway it for me - but that aside - fur smells of damp and old ladies
Aoife, Belfast

If you are going to complain about fur, please take the hamburger out of your mouth first.
Dave, USA

If you think that wearing dead animals makes you look good then you need help - and a life.
Maryann, Scotland



Since we have the honour of having intelligence, let's use this mind and collectively stop slaughtering animals to simply be IN STYLE.

Kate Joyal, Canada
Coming from a country that is primarily dominated by appearance and anorexic looking figures, I must say IF GOD WANTED US TO WEAR FURS HE WOULD HAVE MADE US AN ANIMAL.
But since we have the honour of having intelligence, let's use this mind and collectively stop slaughtering animals to simply be IN STYLE. Why not simply be yourself?
Kate Joyal, Canada

I don't believe the fur of animals should be worn when there are so many attractive and versatile substitutes.
Anne, Canada

I think there is a lot of fuss about fur. Many of those who raise their voices against fur wear leather shoes, belts and handbags without any qualms, and guess where a lot of these products come from...
Y. Arri, Spain

I had taken for granted the fact that the killing of an animal purely so that its skin could be worn as a fashion accessory was something that, in this country at least, was seen as completely unacceptable. It comes as a shock therefore, that the fashion trade is once more attempting to make gratuitous death appear trendy.
I sincerely hope that lessons I thought had already been learnt will not be disregarded by the extremely rich in the name of fashion, and thus become made more acceptable to others.
S Gordon, United Kingdom



I'm no Cruella Devil, or anything, but I think fur is a sign of power and confidence, not of butchery and carelessness.

Rachel Trattif, UK
There has always been such a Hoo-Hah about fur and the use of it on humans, but I personally don't see it as a problem. I am the proud owner of three lovely dogs and also of two gorgeous fur coats, but does that give me double morals? Simple answer - NO! I simply adore the finer things in life! I'm no Cruella Devil, or anything, but I think fur is a sign of power and confidence, not of butchery and carelessness. The only people who are careless are those who run around ranting about how fur coats are horrible and then tuck into a nice slab of flesh for tea-time, - very careless.
Rachel Trattif, UK

Like fox-hunting, wearing fur is something that belongs in the history books, and I am disappointed and feel let down by the Governments slow response in dealing with such issues.
Producing animals in unnatural and cruel conditions for the sole purpose of obtaining a fashion accessory for those with more money than sense is sickening. It also shouldn't be an option for those living in cold climates, as man-made material is far superior.
Lawrence Williams, England



A nice wool coat looks far more classy, and you don't have to kill the sheep to get the coat.

Lindsey, United States
I'm not an animal rights activist, but I don't see the point in wearing fur. We can make clothing that is just as warm, and that looks nice as well. Why bother killing animals if we don't really have to? I do think fur is in style again, but it's visibly faux fur - which is cool.
As far as style goes, I think a huge fur coat looks ostentatious. A nice wool coat looks far more classy, and you don't have to kill the sheep to get the coat.
Lindsey, United States

At the end of the day there only animals, there are far worse things happening to Humans throughout the world. When are people going to put things into perspective.
Danny, UK

Why is this fur trade such a shock? This has been going on for years in Asia and will carry on for years to come. As an expat that has been living in Asia I can honestly say that you will not stop this cruelty unless the British government and other western governments put sanctions on the countries responsible for this.
Ceri, Australia



The animals are not cruelly killed and there is no danger of their extinction.

Stacey, UK
Personally, I cannot see what is so wrong with wearing fur. Here, in this country, most of us eat meat, many wear leather and some even enjoy fox hunting, so why is that wearing fur causes so much public disgust.
The evidence about cats and dogs in Asia being butchered for their fur is just a singular case. I know for a fact that most of the fur used for producing clothes comes from the animals specially bred for this purpose. So the animals are not cruelly killed and there is no danger of their extinction. Also, human beings have been using fur for many centuries, it's a tradition, and in some places of the world it is a necessity because of the weather conditions there. I, myself, wear fur, and I think it is the right of every human being to wear whatever clothes it chooses.
Stacey, UK

The argument that it is acceptable to wear fur for use in cold climates no longer has any basis. There is a considerable range of suitable alternatives in man-made fibres, which are more widely available and also cheaper than fur products. The use of fur as a high fashion statement is repulsive, as are most of the people who wear it.
Alex Cutelli, UK

No to wearing fur because of the conditions under which animals are kept in fur farms and handled during their life and slaughter. There is no necessity for humans today to wear fur, even in a very cold climate. There are alternatives. We should stop killing any animal for fur, since killing is against the inherent interest of the individual animal who without doubt would prefer to be alive.
Birgitta Carlsson, Sweden

In principal I see nothing wrong with fur, in the same way that I eat meat, but I think it is wrong to trap animals for fur or even worse endangered animals in the same way that I would not eat a tiger that had bled to death in a 'tiger trap'.
Farm-bred fur on the other hand seems no different from farm bread cows or pigs, and I would find it hard to argue against it without feeling hypocritical. I wonder how many of the people writing into this forum, moaning about fur wearers, wear leather shoes or leather jackets - is this not just vanity also? Yet somehow it is far more respectable.
Brian, England



While people continuing eating beef it seems sensible to make as much use of the animal as possible.

Paul Steven, Scotland
The leather argument is really a bit of a red herring in this. Leather is almost always a by-product of killing cows to eat them. So while people continuing eating beef it seems sensible to make as much use of the animal as possible - or maybe we could have a few more veggies!
Where most fur is different is that the animal is reared and killed for the fur, not the meat, let's face it most of us have tasted mink!
Paul Steven, Scotland



The kidnap of hundreds of pets from their homes is not trivial to their owners.

KB, UK
There are at least 2 differing issues under discussion here - i.e. should we wear fur and if yes how should we obtain it?
Before you buy that fur coat, consider how made was it made? Was the animal reared/trapped and killed humanely?
Why are you wearing fur? For those who do it to appease their vanity or boast of their wealth and status I would say that, " a fool and his money are soon parted". I think fur from animals looks very ugly on humans.
For those who wear it to keep out the cold I would point out that it works much better inside-out (ask any Inuit), and there are hard-wearing, natural alternatives.
For those who think this issue is trivial, the kidnap of hundreds of pets from their homes is not trivial to their owners, and who would call morals trivial?
KB, UK

I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing fur. Apart from that, if the resources, that organisations like the RSPCA use, were used to help HUMANS instead of animals, a lot of our problems could be solved. Instead of filming animals being skinned, why not try to film the many people being skinned in Chechnya by the Russians? I am sure that would have a lot more profound effect.
John Martin, UK

If people want to wear fur I think they should be made to kill and skin the animal whose pelt they wish to adorn themselves with. Let's see how many of them would do that.
Gareth Talbot, UK

Imagine, locked in a wire cage - alone. Admittedly plenty of food and water but no stimulation or company - nothing for comfort. Is this humane - nothing like the animals natural environment? It isn't always the death that is the crime it is the fur farming methods of mental torture - for life. I am not saying its OK but at least when an animal is caught from the wild it has had some quality of life. Overall, I agree with some of the above comments if you don't have the guts to kill it yourself you don't deserve to wear it.
Cheryl, England



Fur is practical, at least when temperature is well below -20.

Ivan Strougatski, UK
One must distinguish between fashion and practicality. Fur is practical, at least when temperature is well below -20. (Synthetic fur is really not good enough at these temperatures). The question of fission is a different one and I seriously doubt that fur would become truly fashionable, though I do not personally object to wearing it. (And yes, I've been hunting, fishing and saw how animals get killed)
Ivan Strougatski, UK

The fur trade has to go. It is not a question of tradition or utility but of ethics. Fur, whether farmed or trapped is a very cruel practice. As a former fur farmer I know first hand that it is wrong.
It is time for the human species to rise above such poor moral actions as the warring, selling and production of fur. Let the fur trade join the slave trade in history where it belongs.
Daniel Hammer, USA

I strongly believe that any person in this modern world who wears fur is sick. Only animals have a right to wear fur and this statement clearly means that you are an animal to wear fur. It is time that we humans learnt to live and protect life.
Nitin Shah, Kenya

So call me a crank if that makes you feel better but I don't for one minute think anyone, except those gaining financially, can really support the cruelty surrounding this whole business. The sorry truth is that the apathy of the majority means that this old chestnut will crop up again and again whenever the 'fashion trade' runs out of ideas.
Helen Moore, UK



We've taken their homes away and still you're taking their lives for a stupid pointless accessory.

Gillian, UK
When I see these fur coats hanging off people around London, I don't see a fur coat, I see an idiot who doesn't care for anyone but themselves and their husbands wallet! You should be ashamed! ALL animals should be treated with respect and the dignity they deserve. We've taken their homes away and still you're taking their lives for a stupid pointless accessory - it's disgusting and I am ashamed to be a human - it seems the human race won't stop until they've taken everything OR a comet finishes us all off!
Gillian, UK

Craig is absolutely right. The possum is a terrible pest in New Zealand. It is destroying the native forests and spreading tuberculosis. They don't belong in New Zealand and should never have been introduced. The fact that their population has exploded in the last decade is entirely the fault of the anti-fur hysterics. Wearing possum fur from New Zealand is the ecologically sound, responsible, "green" choice. Of course the arrogant fanatics in the UK don't give a toss about New Zealand, a far more beautiful country than theirs ever was.
Rosalind, UK



How much longer is the West going to ignore the appalling practices of the East in the name of "cultural differences".

Chris Lymer, UK
I was disappointed that the BBC did not show the film of the Asian animal atrocities on the main news. I appreciate the fact that the film was extremely distressing, but people need to know exactly what the world will do for the sake of fashion and profit. It is only shock tactics that will work with this level of vanity.
How much longer is the West going to ignore the appalling practices of the East in the name of "cultural differences". If I had been part of the film crew present, my actions would have been equally barbaric.
Chris Lymer, UK

Personally I don't wear fur - but all you anti-fur campaigners - come to the East and wake up. The fur trade is alive and well and living in Ukraine. It is still a status symbol and a necessity given the extreme winter temperatures we experience here. I tell my students not to take their coats and hats to the UK when they visit and they have no idea why. For those opposed to fur AND the use of sheepskin get real your battle is far from over!!
Jane Philips, GB but living in Ukraine



Killing an animal to extinction just because it makes some pathetic rich lady look good to her so called friends is just not right.

Peter, UK
The reason why animals should not be killed for their fur is because most of these animals are in fact on the endangered list. Killing an animal to extinction just because it makes some pathetic rich lady look good to her so called friends is just not right.
The fact that we don't like to kill animals because they are cute and cuddly is rubbish. However, If domestic cats and dogs are being killed for their fur at least they should be bred and killed in humane conditions. If people had the choice I'm sure that 99% of them would rather wear the fur from an animal that was humanly treated.
Peter, UK

I would not purchase a garment with fur. Check out what the alpaca fleece industry has to offer - particularly Suri fleece which can be made to look like fur.
Linda, Australia

The issue with fur is the downright cruelty that the animals are subject to. Having seen a dog skinned alive (because the fur is 'better for it') typifies the whole fur issue. Many of the furs sold are incorrectly assigned to the wrong species since only DNA testing can tell the real difference.
What has to be done to get the cruelty message across? I think there would be quite an outrage if we started skinning dead people and using that for the fashion industry!
Jon B, Sweden



How many animals do you think would be raised on farms etc if there were no commercial use for them?

Kevin, UK
The anti fur/meat lobby seem to suggest that is people didn't eat meat or use animal skins and fur then the animals would be left to live a pleasant existence. Rubbish!! How many animals do you think would be raised on farms etc if there were no commercial use for them? I don't know of any farmers that would breed and raise animals just because they are cute! If there were no profit to be gained then there will be much less animals around.
Kevin, UK

Killing a sentient, feeling being is wrong, regardless of species. There is no reason for the mutilation, murder and abuse of living beings, be they cute and fuzzy, large and oafish, or hairless bipeds.
To suggest that the issue lacks importance because it does not involve homo sapiens is to engage in a most infectious and disastrous form of discrimination. It's time we learned that we share this planet with all animals, man included.
SJ, US

If one puts the question aside of whether it's correct to kill them in the first place, then as long as it's being used for another purpose as well (meat, REAL medicine) I see no problem.
I imagine that being pretty, tasty, or fashionable is about the worst thing that can ever happen to a species.
John McNiece, USA



I consider non-native fur wearing humans, a disease of humanity.

Kevin, Canada
In the movie, 'The Matrix' agent Smith describes the human race as the only species on Earth that does not naturally seek to find a balance with their surroundings, but use up all available resources until everything is completely exhausted. He continues along this line of reasoning to conclude that the human species is equivalent to a 'virus, parasite, or plague' of the Earth. Similarly, I consider non-native fur wearing humans, a disease of humanity.
Kevin, Canada

Irrespective of trend, vanity, and taste. No all furry creatures are welcome in the environment. The New Zealand Possum was introduced last century and numbers have reached over 60 million. Please wear fur - just make sure it is NZ Possum you're wearing. You'll be helping get rid of an environmental menace.
Craig, UK

Fur kept man warm when there was no other choice. Today there is no excuse for wearing fur. It is not a status symbol but symbolic of the state of the mind of the wearer.
John Mathias, Hong Kong



Animal Rightists are nothing more than one more kind of totalitarian getting their jollies from restricting the behaviour of others.

Walter Matera, USA
I'd wear it in a heartbeat if I lived in a cold climate. Here in South California there isn't any point unless you intend to go naked underneath. However, up where it gets really cold . . . go fur! I notice a lot of repetition of the words "cruel" and "barbaric". Mink don't die any slower than livestock at the atelier. What makes that cruel? Animal Rightists are nothing more than one more kind of totalitarian getting their jollies from restricting the behaviour of others.
Walter Matera, USA

I wonder how many pro-fur people would want to wear that stuff if they saw the actual slaughter of the animals? Not many I bet. Neither would they of course want to eat meat or wear leather and most people who object to fur also object to meat and leather so we are not hypocrites! It is the 21st century now, lets get something right for a change.
J Castle, England



Because a cow is not perceived by us as cute and playful does that mean that it is OK to kill it?

Jock Stewart, Scotland
The wearing of fur is neither morally right or wrong. I, like most people, wear the skin of a dead animal on my feet. Does that mean that most of society is immoral?
Because a cow is not perceived by us cute and playful does that mean that it is OK to kill it? Do we only kill things that do not please us? If that is the case then that would be immoral. Let us focus on real issues such as suffering in Mozambique, war torn Chechnya and other areas where real people are really suffering the wearing of fur is a trivial and unimportant subject.
Jock Stewart, Scotland

The fact that there is fake fur that looks very good. I can't see any reason for wearing real fur, except of course if you live in a freezing cold country with no access to clothes and you can shoot and skin the animal yourself.
But most people who are wearing fur for fashion do have a choice and I think it's needless, outdated and real fur always looks best on animals.
Amy Brennan, England



The real argument against wearing fur is that it is tacky and ostentatious.

Rath Andor, USA
I eat meat and wear leather so I won't make a fuss about wearing fur just because animals with fur tend to be cuter than cows and pigs. The real argument against wearing fur is that it is tacky and ostentatious. One question, though. Asians are also ridding the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea of many varieties of shark so they can use the animals in sharkfin soup or as part of aphrodisiac potions. Has the RSPCA kicked up a fuss about that or are the sharks just not furry enough?
Rath Andor, USA

Sorry Emma but fur is only natural when it is on the animal. Vanity is the only reason humans wear fur, it is like a status symbol to some people. As for fashion designers well the less said the better.
Stacey Gillings, UK

This ought to be the plight of rounded up strays that "hound" our streets and waste resources in animal shelters. I'm also quite sure that we would not have much of a dog litter problem if UK pelt hunters were allowed to round up these unwelcome guests on our streets and gardens!
Janice McLean, UK



It seems that the anti-fur campaign just a convenient bandwagon to jump on.

Raffy, USA
If the anti-fur campaigners succeed in frightening the public into not wearing fur, who will their next targets be? Butchers and meat eaters? Fishmongers? Is killing animals for food any different from killing for clothing, after all there are substitutes for both? It seems that the anti-fur campaign just a convenient bandwagon to jump on.
The public should shun those involved in malicious anti-fur activities, instead of the members of the public who chose to use animals for food and clothing, as is their right in a free society.
Raffy, USA

From the animal's viewpoint it matters not at all whether it was produced for fur, leather or meat. What really matters is that it lives in the best possible conditions for its mental and physical wellbeing and that it is humanely killed.
Trapping wild animals doesn't fulfil the last of these criteria and it should be banned, as should the use of any part of any endangered species. Anti fur protesters should also take a look at Chinese 'medicine'.
Andrew, UK

I think anyone who wears fur or kills animals for fur are absolutely outrageous. There is no need to do it and I think if people do this or wear it there are a pretty low person themselves.
Jane Love, England

How many of those who would not wear fur wear leather? Or eat meat? As for Jay and his "correct" behaviour. Attacking fellow humans and burning their shops is correct, then? Rubbish.
John, UK

I do not wear fur, firstly because I don't agree with factory farming animals, or laying traps (and I back this up by only buying free range meat), but also because it is ugly.
Kate, UK

Maybe I just missed it, but I don't remember vanity and cruelty to animals ever going out of fashion.
Ian Walker, Germany



Many cultures use fur, but they also use the entire animal.

WGS, UK
Wearing fur would be fine IF 1) the animals were humanely treated and humanely slaughtered 2 we didn't just skin the animals and chuck the rest away 3) many animals didn't have to die just for ONE item of clothing. It's not just a cruelty factor, it is the waste too. Many cultures use fur, but they also use the entire animal.
WGS, UK

It is disgusting! It seems to me that animals have been the brunt of most human failings - either for vanity, medically, or scientifically. I'm sorry, but I cannot share someone's love of wearing a skin that has been ripped from an animal's body.
Alexa C, UK

What is more environmentally sound, raising animals to eat and take their fur or leather for wearing or synthetic materials made from the petrochemical industry that contributes to air, ground and water pollution? The true conservationists know what is natural and what is not. Why don't we start listening to those that spent much of their money and time in nature, the hunters and fishers.
Keith, USA



Time to treat so-called dumb animals with respect rather than commodities for human convenience.

Rach, UK
Back in caveman times I could see every reason to wear fur. For those people who do not rely on fur as their only means of warmth, ignorance and vanity can be the only reasons for people to wear fur. Fur looks best on the animal: keep it there! Time to treat so-called dumb animals with respect rather than commodities for human convenience.
Rach, UK



Fur farming need be no more cruel than other forms of agriculture, and may sustain endangered species.

Julian Hitchcock, UK
If the fur industry sold meat as a by-product, there could be no more reasonable objection to the wearing of fur than to the wearing of leather. Animal lovers seem content to feed their pets on beef, pheasant and rabbit. Why not leopard? Indeed, many humans may relish the possibility. Fur farming need be no more cruel than other forms of agriculture, and may sustain endangered species.
Julian Hitchcock, UK

I think there should be more advertising showing people what really goes on in the farming industry, including fur farming. We get bombarded by so many messages from the meat industry trying to tell us meat is healthy, and totally "natural". If people realised what goes on behind this facade then only the most callous would continue to consume and wear murdered animals.
CC, N. Ireland



The emaciated freaks that stroll the catwalks have no bearing on the British mentality towards animals.

Alex Molinier, UK
There is no way fur can make a comeback, human thought towards animals has irrevocably evolved. The emaciated freaks that stroll the catwalks have no bearing on the British mentality towards animals. I always remember the slogan from the 1980's - 'Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people' - how true.
Alex Molinier, UK

Do you think we are hypocritical? We 'grow', store and kill millions of animals every year, yet we complain about a minority area such as this? I am not advocating the killing of animals for fur but maybe we should look at our own comfortable attitudes in much bigger morally similar areas before we bring out the sword of conscience proclaiming love for a more pet-like species.
Colin, UK



I would never wear fur, and I don't think it is likely to become popular. Shops can no longer sell fur on the whole, because they tend to come under attack from their own communities, and people who wear fur in public risk strong abuse from total strangers. In a humane society, this seems quite correct. Cruelty to animals for the sake of fashion is unnecessary and uncivilised.
Jay, UK



Man has been wearing fur to keep warm for centuries.

Dr. S, UK
Fur is only perceived as being wrong thanks to the interfering politically correct wimps. Man has been wearing fur to keep warm for centuries and even millennia. Indeed, he still uses fur in certain parts of the world.
If I could afford a fur coat for my wife I would buy her one.
Dr. S, UK

There is no reason for anyone to wear fur other than vanity. It is unnecessary and cruel and should be banned once and for all.
Caroline, UK

The only people who should be allowed to wear fur are those that are willing to hunt and skin the animal themselves (armed only with a knife)! AND if women are so much into fur then why not use their own? I.e. don't shave your legs for a month!
PP, UK



It doesn't even look nice on humans - whereas on the animal it was beautiful.

Shirley, UK
There will always be people who will wear fur in the UK, but I think the majority will still shun it. I would never wear fur and always feel faintly disgusted when I see women wearing it. It sends out a signal that they don't care about anything, just themselves. It doesn't even look nice on humans - whereas on the animal it was beautiful.
Shirley, UK

Well we slaughter and torment pigs, cows, sheep and countless other species, so why leave out the furry ones? Is killing an animal for it's skin any more nasty than killing it for its meat? And don't forget: "They're only animals"...
Rob Harris, England



Fur is fully natural, very long lasting and no threat to the environment at all.

Emma Chippeck, UK
Coming from a family of furriers - my father being one of the last remaining manufacturers around, I am totally in favour of people choosing to wear fur - I do not believe it should be banned, for several reasons:
Firstly, If you look to ban fur then legitimately we should be banning the "growing" of animals for human use - a much wider debate.
Secondly, in terms of the environment. I do not suppose many people think about the amount of pollution that the production of "man made" fibres causes - these are non-biodegradable so when people have finished with them they cause even more pollution when destroyed. Fur is fully natural, very long lasting and no threat to the environment at all. Obviously I do not believe that protected and endangered animals be killed off for their skins - that is illegal and it should remain so.
Finally - Given that most people associate fur with wealth - a hugely incorrect assessment - is it by chance jealousy which drives them to complain the whole time?
Emma Chippeck, UK



Fur is gaining strength with leading fashion designers and public popularity throughout the world, including those of us living in the UK.

Jan Brown, British Fur Trade Association, United Kingdom
More than 220 designers use real fur in their collections today - that's a five-fold increase since 1985 when statistics were first recorded. The reality is that real fur is gaining strength with leading fashion designers and public popularity throughout the world, including those of us living in the UK.
The leading fashion designers know that eighty five percent (85%) of the world's fur is produced on farms, the majority within the European Union under stringent national and European laws. If farming animals for their fur was considered cruel as the RSPCA implies, the governments of large fur producing countries - Denmark and Finland, for example - would not openly support the sector, send their vets to fur breeders' associations for training, and ask those bodies to carry out quality control scientific tests on behalf of the State. In fact fur farming in many respects is sparking research and setting progressive standards that may benefit all farmed animals. This has got to be good news for animal welfare at the start of the 21st Century.
Jan Brown, British Fur Trade Association, United Kingdom

There is no reason or purpose for wearing Fur in today's society especially when the cruelty of fur production is widely recognised. The unnecessary torture and suffering of animals for human vanity is both shameful and unethical.
Claire Maddison, United Kingdom

I don't really have a problem with fur being worn (not that I'd wear it), but it must come from specifically and humanely bread animals. Having said that, wearing a dead animal for aesthetics is as sick as it sounds.
Colin, Netherlands

I'll feel sorry for animals once people's life will regain more value: too many of them killed for financial gain in wars!!!
Andrew, USA



Anyone walking around with the skins of butchered animals on their backs deserves the abuse.

Neil, Scotland
Fur never went out of fashion for cats, dogs, rabbits, foxes etc. What do we need fur for? Would we freeze without it? Of course not, it is pure vanity. Anyone walking around with the skins of butchered animals on their backs deserves the abuse. They deserve to be constantly reminded of the cruelty and barbarism involved in fulfilling their vanity.
Neil, Scotland

The anti-fur movement relies on cute images of furry animals to rally support from people who are moved by such emotive issues. The fur trade is no different to any other trade in animal products - and I don't see anyone campaigning against all leather products or animal food items. People ignore these products because they aren't "trendy" issues. I'm sure many people would think twice about meat if they ever went in an abattoir.
At the end of the day it should be a matter of personal choice - if people do not want fur clothing, then they will not buy it. It is as simple as that. Militant anti-fur activists are merely trying to impose their views on other people, and are no different to any other fringe group, they just have more powerful imagery.
Mark, UK/Netherlands.

No one should ever wear fur, and nor animal should ever be killed for its fur. The wearing of fur should be made illegal.
Helen Buchanan, GB



Are there not far more disgraceful things going on in the world for us to worry about rather than whether someone's hat is real or fake fur?

Jenni, UK
Personally, I would not wear animal fur but I do wear leather/suede. How can anyone protest about the use of animals in the clothing trade who does the same? It doesn't matter whether the skin has been de-haired or not - an animal had to die for the clothing to be made.
However, whilst I cannot and do not object about those who do wish to wear fur, I can and do complain that any animal has to suffer to provide it. There are far crueller things that can be done to an animal than to kill it painlessly but it is the way of death and the suffering the animals undergo beforehand which turns my stomach, whether to produce skins or food. And are there not far more disgraceful things going on in the world for us to worry about rather than whether someone's hat is real or fake fur?
Jenni, UK

It should be ended now, without a doubt. But the sad truth is, it won't be.
Dan Norcott, UK

I have never been able to understand the problem that some people have with wearing fur. No-one (except the cranks) bats an eyelid at the wholesale slaughter of pigs and cows for both their meat and their hides. But as soon as the animal is cute and fluffy it becomes an outrage. This is yet another example of the crazy double standards that are employed by far too many people who really should know better.
Danny Forrest, Sweden

I would agree with fur if it served a greater purpose than satisfying a woman's vanity and need for status. Wearing fur is morally wrong.
Scott McKay, USA



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See also:

24 Jan 00 |  Letter From America
What are animals put on earth for?
18 Nov 99 |  UK
Inside the fur farms
17 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Government to end fur farming
12 May 99 |  Americas
Beverly Hills backs fur trade
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