On these farms, millions of wild animals like minks, foxes, rabbits, chinchillas, and raccoon dogs are bred and kept in terrible conditions. They are then killed using brutal methods, all in the name of fashion.
Minks and foxes are two of the most common species on farms. The North American Fur Auction, which is the largest auction house in North America, “currently sells over ten million ranch-raised mink pelts annually.” The fur pelts come from North American and European fur farms.
The U.S. is the fifth largest mink farming country in the world. Of the roughly 400 fur farms in the U.S., around 275 of them are mink farms and they can be found in at least 23 states. Between three to four million minks are killed in the U.S. each year, with Wisconsin being the top “producing” state followed by Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Minnesota. Compared to mink, the U.S. has a smaller number of farms raising foxes, with 56 farms in 10 states. Finland is considered the world’s leading “producer” of fox pelts, killing around four million foxes per year.
Although raised on farms, minks, foxes, and other furbearing species are not tame and do not adapt to captive environments. They have the same instincts as those in the wild but are not given an opportunity to act the way they would naturally. Most fur-bearing animals are loners by nature and roam huge territories when in the wild. On a farm, they are unable to climb, hunt, swim, or hide.
Stuffed into tiny wire cages, animals live side by side with their fellow animals in a permanent state of stress and fear. The cages are typically suspended in long rows roughly two feet above the ground. Feces and urine fall through the wire mesh, to prevent the fur being dirtied. These animals have a very sensitive sense of smell and spend their lives subjected to an unbearable stench. Their sensitive paws are frequently injured because of the mesh floor of the cage, leading to infected wounds and missing limbs.
Trapped in these horrid conditions for their entire lives, the majority of these animals demonstrate severe behavioral disorders, including cannibalism and self-harm. Then, after months of vegetating in the cages, the animals are killed by gassing, neck-breaking, anal electrocution, lethal injection, and by being skinned alive.