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Undercover investigators from Swiss Animals Protection East/International spent the past year investigating fur farms in China’s Hebei Province and found that many animals, including dogs and foxes, are still alive and struggling desperately when workers flip them onto their backs or hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them. When workers on these farms begin to cut the skin and fur from an animal’s leg, the free limbs kick and writhe. Workers stomp on the necks and heads of animals who, fighting for their lives, struggle too hard to allow for a clean cut. When the fur is finally peeled off over the animals’ heads, their naked, bloody bodies are thrown onto a pile of those who have gone before them. Some are still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly. Some of the animals’ hearts are still beating five to 10 minutes after they are skinned. One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on the heap of carcasses who had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and stare into the camera, with only his eyelashes still intact.
Before they are skinned alive, animals are pulled from their cages and slammed against the ground; workers bludgeon them with metal rods, causing broken bones and convulsions but not always immediate death. Animals watch helplessly as workers make their way down the row.
Some animals killed in the Chinese fur trade were once loving companions. Millions of dogs and cats—some still wearing collars—are transported without food, shelter, or water, shoved into tiny metal crates, and stacked on trucks—as many as 8,000 animals to a truck. When they arrive for slaughter, workers toss the crates of crying, terrified, and dying animals to the ground, a drop from as high as 10 feet that causes the animals’ limbs to shatter as they crash to the ground. After they are killed and skinned, their fur is often deliberately mislabeled as fur from other species and exported to the U.S. to be sold to unsuspecting customers.
China supplies more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States. Because a fur’s origin can’t be traced, anyone who wears any fur at all may actually be wearing the coat of a dog or cat and therefore shares the blame for the horrific conditions on Chinese fur farms. The only way to prevent such unimaginable cruelty is never to wear any fur.