Flicker by: eye of einstein
Fur is a body hair of any non-human mammal, also known as the pelage.
Fur may consist of short ground hair, long guard hair, and, in some cases, medium awn hair. Fur has long served as a source of clothing for humans, especially in cold climates. When used in clothing, fur is leather with the hair retained for its insulating properties. Modern cultures still wear natural fiber fur and fur trim and for many the natural fibers are preferred alternatives to synthetic clothing from petrochemicals. Animal furs used in garments and trim can be dyed bright colors, or shorn down. Common animal sources for fur clothing and accessories are fox, rabbit, mink, beavers, ermine, otters, sable, seals, cats, dogs, coyotes, and chinchillas. However, the import of seals was banned and the import, export and sales of domesticated cat and dog fur was also banned. Even with these bans more the 40 million animals are killed per year for their fur. Manufacturing fur clothing involves obtaining animals pelts where the hair is left on the animal’s processed skin. Fake fur or “faux fur” designates any synthetic material the has the feel as real fur, without any use of animal products. Faux fur is not renewable or biodegradable, and there are mounting concerns about its ecological footprint.

Flicker by: Ranger Gord

Fur farming is the practice of breeding or raising certain types of animals for their fur. Fur farming takes place in mainly Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Holland. However, China has a huge fur industry and is the largest importer and re-exporter of fur in the world. Today, 85 percent of the fur industry’s pelts come from animals raised on farms. Sixty-four percent of fur farms are in Norther Europe, 11 in North America, and the rest are throughout the world in countries like Argentina and Russia. The most commonly raised animal that is used for farming is the mink. Mink typically breed in March, and give birth to their litters around May. Farmers vaccinate the young kits for various diseases and they are harvested in late November and December.

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