The fur industry, this controversial market sector represents a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, employing around one million people. Both synthetic and natural fur can be a major fashion item, but in the case of the latter, it is at the expense of animals. The fur industry is an industry that produces animal skins to make new clothes.
There are few products in the world that have caused as much outrage as animal fur. Few have played as important a role as fur in the spread of capitalism and the drive to the frontiers of the New World. But although the fur trade is viewed largely in historical context, and the widespread hostility to it in recent years has increasingly affected its credibility, it remains an important industry.
The approach to the industry varies around the world
Until recently, fur supplies were concentrated in Canada and Russia, as the vast expanses of subarctic land have long been home to the animals whose pelts were most prized in the fur trade. Among the animals most often harvested by trappers in these regions were beavers, rabbits, foxes, martens, and otters. However, with the development of fur farming in the last century, the industry's dependence on trapping was greatly reduced. This has led to a significant decentralization of fur production geographically, as fur can now be produced in a variety of climates and locations. Although the intensification of the animal rights struggle has led to a change in consumer tastes and thus contributed to the gradual decline in demand for animal fur seen in most of the Western world, in other parts of the world this decline is more than offset. Moreover, the industry is experiencing a remarkable period of growth, driven mainly by demand. Today, Asia and Eurasia account for more than two-thirds of the world's demand for animal skins and processed products.
Importance of fur farming
Fur production begins either by capturing wild animals or raising them domestically on fur farms. Today, fur farms produce more than 85% of the world's fur. This difference is due to the efficiency of agricultural production and the ability of farmers to breed different breeds of animals in different conditions and climates. Trapping can be very difficult and requires a great deal of expertise, not only the knowledge of the trapper himself, but also the ability to live in the wild in remote areas where these animals are most abundant. As a result, trapping, although historically an important fishery, is gradually declining in importance compared to fur farming. The harvesting of fur from animals varies considerably from country to country due to the wide variety of regulations, especially those related to animal welfare and cruelty in different countries around the world.
History of the fur trade
The fur trade has played an important role in the history of the modern world, especially in the colonization of North America. Although trapping was an important practice in Russia as early as the 10th century, it was French and later English traders who started the fur trade in North America and brought the industry to what we consider to be a truly global level. It was French traders, in particular, who began the westward push that led to the first encounters between the aboriginal people of North America and Europeans. Alliances were made with various indigenous tribes, and the fur trade became an extremely important economic cooperation for both sides. The search for lands and routes for this trade was one of the first driving forces behind the expansion of European colonial rule in North America, and fur resources were a very important factor in the territorial mapping of the region, with many of these boundary lines still used in wholesale trade today.
The role of the state in the region
As the industry has developed over several centuries, the role of the state has gradually increased, especially in the developed world. To some extent this is due to the involvement of countries in strategically important industries, but to an even greater extent it is due to the growth of animal rights activism. The growth of this kind of compassionate dialog has done much to change consumer preferences, and democratic governments have in turn responded to the concerns of their animal-loving citizens. In most countries involved in the fur trade, the treatment of animals on fur farms is regulated in the same way as in traditional livestock farming. Some European countries, such as England, have gone so far as to ban fur farming altogether. While some countries have made significant strides in protecting these animals, these changes have not been universal. China in particular has lagged behind in adopting measures such as animal cruelty laws that would hold fur producers accountable for inhumane farming practices.
However, as consumers become more socially and environmentally conscious, it is likely that the positive trend toward better animal welfare will continue and even spread throughout the developing world.