FUR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Someone used rat poison in late
April to kill more than 17,000 mink at
the Sakhalin Fur Industrial Association fur
farm on Sakhalin Island in the former
Soviet Union. The fur farm claimed a loss
of $2.8 million, although at current world
pelt prices the actual loss was probably
closer to $400,000. Possible suspects
include rival fur entrepreneurs trying to
boost prices for their own pelts by creating
a shortage and simultaneously wiping out a
rival; someone in management attempting
to cash in on the limited insurance cover-
age; and/or disgruntled employees.

The National Board of Fur
Farm Organizations has declared opposi-
tion to the federal Agricultural Worker
Protection Act, which would require farms
with more than 25 workers to provide child
care; give workers the right to sue under
all federal, state, and local health and
safety laws; require that farm workers be
hired by the day or hour, rather than on a
piecework basis, and be paid for the full
time contracted; hold farmers liable for
the actions of their labor contractors; and
increase the penalties for those who violate
farm labor law. Fur farms typically hire
the migrant laborers the bill is intended to
protect only during the killing season each
fall. The NBFF is believed to be fighting
the bill mainly in return for favors from
stronger farm lobbies.
The Canadian Department of
Indian Affairs and Northern
Development and Department of the
Environment on April 23 committed $12
million over the next five years to further
prop up and promote the staggering fur
trade. Total Canadian government support
of the fur trade over the past five years
exceeds $33 million, including $13 mil-
lion spent by the Agricultural Products
Board to buy 90% of the nation’s ranched
mink pelts in 1991 to support prices; $15
million spent in 1990 and 1991 on lobby-
ing and publicity for fur; and $5 million
granted to the Canadian Sealers
Association in 1988 as seed money to
rebuild their industry.
The American Fur Industry
and Fur Information Council of
America plan to publish this year’s fur
fashion advertising supplement to the New
York Times on October 17. Similar ad sup-
plements will be published in the Chicago
Tribune, Washington Post, and Boston
Globe.
Kaufmann’s, of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, has become the latest
department store chain to discontinue sell-
ing fur garments.
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