Are farmed furbearers skinned alive for their fur?


Absolutely not. This claim has been spread by some animal rights groups to discredit the fur trade, but even though it is absurd, an alarming number of people repeat it as though it’s true. They also claim there are many videos showing this practice, when in fact there is just one, and it was clearly staged for the camera. Shot in a Chinese market in 2005, it shows a worker cruelly beating and skinning a live raccoon dog. It was first disseminated by the animal rights group Swiss Animal Protection, and then more widely by PETA. Remember, if you are unfortunate enough to see this video, it does not depict anything done in the fur trade. Rather, it shows that some animal rightists have no respect for the truth or for animal welfare.

Following are the reasons why animals are never skinned alive in the fur trade:

  • It would be completely inhumane
    Contrary to what animal activists claim, most livestock farmers take good care of their animals. It not only makes sound business sense, it’s also the humanitarian thing to do. It is therefore completely ignorant (and insulting) to claim that farmers would inflict unnecessary suffering by skinning their animals alive.
  • It would endanger the farmer
    Common sense should tell us that an animal would fight back if someone tried to skin it alive. This would put the farmer at risk of being bitten or scratched, or cut with his own knife. No farmer would expose themselves to such danger.
  • It would take longer and be less efficient
    Believers in the skinning alive myth say it saves the farmer time because he doesn’t have to euthanize the animals first. But that’s absurd. Approved methods of euthanasia take seconds only, but if that’s too much trouble, since you’re already holding a sharp skinning knife, why not just kill the animal?
  • It would almost certainly damage the pelt
    Considerable skill is needed when skinning a furbearer to avoid nicking the pelt and reducing its value. That would be impossible if the animal were alive and struggling. Plus, its heart would still be beating, so blood would get all over the fur and stain it.
  • It would be illegal
    In North America, Europe, and most other regions, it is illegal to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. Skinning an animal alive is therefore not only inhumane and immoral – it’s clearly illegal.

For more information, see 5 reasons why it is ridiculous to claim animals are skinned alive:
Truth About Fur, Jan. 20, 2016.

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