Fur shorts (& folks who might wear them)

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1999:

Interviewed in July 1998 b y
Paul Overeiner of the Jackson (Michigan)
Citizen-Patriot, Michigan State
University chief wildlife biologist J o e
Johnson called a proposal to use the oral
anti-rabies vaccine Raboral to keep rabies
out of the Ohio raccoon population
“Obscene,” because “what you’d get is a
raccoon immune from rabies. I assume
rabies is a natural population control for
them,” Johnson added.
The mid-Atlantic raccoon rabies
pandemic, now threatening eastern Ohio,
began in 1976, when a West Virginia
coonhunting club tried to rebuild the local
population by releasing 3,500 raccoons
who were live-trapped in a part of Florida
where rabies had been endemic for 40
years. Hunters and trappers killed more
than 500,000 raccoons a year during the
next 10 years without slowing the spread
of rabies northward––but Raboral has contained
it wherever used.

The Connecticut Department
of Environmental Protection is expected
to change the rules for bidding on trapping
rights on state land, after the A n i m a l
Rights Front and Friends of Animals
together won the rights this winter on
44,000 of the 62,400 acres they bid to get.
Including the 18 antifur activists who
obtained trapping licenses to seek trapping
rights on state land, there are now 407
licensed trappers in Connecticut, down
from 1,000 a decade ago.

Actress Julie Christie wore a
gown designed by Mark Badgely a n d
James Mischka to receive an Oscar for
her role in Dr. Zhivago––but regretted her
choice in an open letter to them when they
released a line of fur-trimmed evening
coats. Badgely told The New York Times
that he and Mischka had no plans to
design more fur garments.
Accounts of the disappearance
of New York City socialite I r e n e
S i l v e r m a n meanwhile noted that suspect
Sante Kimes, 63, was convicted in 1985
and 1986 of stealing a fur coat and enslaving
Mexican housemaids.

New Zealand venison rancher
Peter Elworthy chose this winter to try to
introduce a line of brush-tailed opossum
garments to the U.S. market. Elworthy
calls brush-tailed opossum fur an “eco-textile,”
because the New Zealand goverment
is trying to exterminate the animals as
alleged competitors to native wildlife. Fur
trappers introduced brush-tailed opossums
to New Zealand in 1853. They were
imported from Australia, where they are
now endangered.

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