Furriers whistle past the graveyard
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1999:
BEVERLY HILLS, LONDON– –
Furriers rejoiced twice in three days in midMay.
Sixty-four percent of an unusually high
special election turnout in Beverly Hills,
California, on May 12 rejected a proposed
bylaw that fur garments priced at $50 or more
be labeled to tell how the animals whose pelts
they use were killed. Then, in London,
Conservative backbenchers on May 14 “talked
out” a bill which would have bought and
closed the last 11 mink farms in Britain.
Ireland, however, intensified
inspection of the six remaining Irish mink
farms, due to losses of wildlife attributed to
frequent mink escapes. In the U.S., at least
three other proposed curbs on the fur trade
were still pending: federal bills SB 1006 and
HR 1581, to ban steel-jawed leghold traps; an
unassigned bill by Rep. Jerry Kleczka (DWisconsin)
to bar imports of garments made
from dog or cat fur; and a similar bill introduced
into the Oregon legislature by state senator
Peter Courtney (D-Salem). None are likely
to reach a vote, but they help activist
groups to draw attention to fur trade cruelty.
The bottom line is sales––and the fur
trade has little to rejoice about there. U.S.
retail fur garment sales in 1998 fell to $860
million, from $18.5 billion in 1988. Total furrier
revenues, including from storage, cleaning,
repairs, and remodels, dipped 5% from
1997, to $1.2 billion. Mink garment imports
fell 1%, imports of non-mink garments fell
17.4%, and fur imports overall slid 10%.