Week of action against real fur-sporrans 28th Sep-4th oct
The fur ads you might see in magazines and commercials portray fur as a symbol of elegance. But these ads fail to show how the original owners of these coats met their gruesome deaths to end up as fur-sporrans, coats, and fur-trims.
In Scotland one of the most common uses of real fur is for the production of sporrans. Traditionally, seal skin was commonly used in semi-dress sporrans. Earlier this year, after decades of public outcry and sustained campaigning, the EU Parliament introduced a ban on the trade in seal products.
The ban on seal products in the EU spells the end of seal-fur sporrans, but other animals - including mink, fox, chinchilla, rabbit, badger, skink, bobcat, beaver, muskrat, and musquash – continue to be killed for their skins. Trends indicate rabbit fur to be slowly moving up in demand. Manufacturers claim rabbit fur is a by-product of the meat industry - but an undercover investigation by the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade in 2007 exposes the reality of the rabbit fur trade. No fur is a by-product of the meat industry.
Rabbit or not, opinion polls conducted over the last 10 years have consistently shown that more than 70% of people in the UK reject the use of fur for clothing. Fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2003, but we continue to import furs from foreign farms and support environmental and animal abuse in other countries that we don’t want in the UK.
45 million animals are killed each year, often by brutal methods - gassing, neck-breaking, anal and genital electrocution are commonly employed methods for killing – not because these are the most humane but because they preserve the pelt – the most profitable part of the animal.
But fur is not just inhumane, it raises serious environmental concerns. A ranch raised coat requires nearly 20 times more energy than the production of a synthetic coat. In Finland, home of 65% of the world’s fox farms, animal waste resulting from fur production have come to equal the uncleaned sewage of a million people, according to environmentalist Mauro Leivi. Fur farms, like all factory farm operations, produce massive amounts of animal waste – one of the largest contributors to global warming. In light of the current climate change crisis – there’s simply no excuse left for murdering animals in this day and age, particularly when excellent faux-fur is easily available.
Sustained campaigning has resulted in more faux-fur sporrans on the shelves, but kiltmakers refuse to sign a policy or actively promote fake-fur, largely protected by the lack of consumer awareness of the cruelty involved and the environmental effects of manufacturing sporrans. Ultimately, there is no difference between wearing a fur-coat or a fur-sporran.
With trade in seal-fur now banned in the EU, this would seem an ideal time for Scotland to cease the use of fur for sporrans and employ synthetic fabrics instead - preserving the highland dress and establishing Scotland as an ethical and compassionate leader in animal and environmental protection.
Edinburgh the Fur-Free City is calling for a fur-free Scotland and has contacted the majority of sporran makers and retailers with information on humane and environmentally-sound alternatives. With the additional information, manufacturers and retailers can now adopt a fur-free policy and are invited to get in touch by the end of September - which is when the Week of Action against real-fur sporrans begins. The 28th Sep-4th Oct is a week to speak up against real-fur sporrans – from emails and phone calls to protests and events – a national call to make Scotland fur-free.
Communities in different parts of Scotland – including Borders, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Lothian – are gearing up to participate in the Week of Action, and thousands of people have signed the petition banning the importation of fur into UK markets.
It’s time to put an end to real-fur sporrans. Join us and find out more at www.edinburghfreecity.co.uk