Science & Legal
• The Environmental Impact of Mink Fur Production
Authors: Marijn Bijleveld, Marisa Korteland & Maartje Sevenster
Delft, January 2011 – 81 pages.
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This study reports on a life cycle assessment (LCA) of mink fur production, quantifying the environmental impact of the production chain ‘from feed to fur’. To produce 1 kg of fur requires more than 11 animals. In the course of its lifetime, mink eat about 50 kg of feed, resulting in 563 kg of feed required per kg of fur. Although the feed consists mainly of offal and this is accounted for by very low allocation of environmental impacts, the 563 kilos required to produce 1 kg of fur knocks on considerably in the total environmental footprint of fur and for 14 of the 18 impact categories studied, feed is the predominant factor. Compared with textiles, fur has a higher impact per kg in 17 of the 18 environmental categories, including climate change, eutrophication and toxic emissions. In many cases, fur has impacts that are a factor 2 to 28 higher than textiles, even when lower-bound values are taken for various links in the production chain.
• Poisons in Fur: Harmful Chemicals in Fur Products
Authors: EcoAid by Manfred Krautter
On behalf of FOUR PAWS – animal welfare foundation
Hamburg, 5th December 2010
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A detailed study commissioned by Four Paws International shows harmful substance contamination in fur products purchased in september 2010, in Germany. This laboratory tests revealed that a large number of fur products sold in Germany contain a multitude of toxic chemicals. Many of the investigated samples contain concentrations of harmful substances which can adversely affect health. In several cases, even the legal limits were exceeded. Furs used in fashion are not natural products. On the contrary, very many chemicals are used in fur production. Several chemical processes – tanning, preserving, cleaning, dying and other treatments – are required before the animal pelt finally becomes a finished fur product (chapter 4.2). These processes are frequently carried out in countries where the use of particularly toxic chemicals is still commonplace. A whole range of substances are used that are very dangerous to health and the environment. For instance: heavy metal salts, solvents, pesticides, formaldehyde, preserving agents, bleaching agents, dyes and many others (chapter 4.3). In contrast, the German Fur Institute (DPI) of the fur industry claims that: “Fur is part of nature just like leather and linen or cashmere and silk. The proverbial second skin feeling of wellbeing can even be explained and measured physically…fur is a piece of pure nature that scores high marks even from an ecological point of view.“
The impacts of the mink industry on freshwater lakes in Nova Scotia:
An overview of concerns
Water quality survey of ten lakes located in the Carleton River Watershed Area of Digby and Yarmouth Counties, Nova Scotia
By Acadia University
• Up-To-Date Status of International Fur Farming Legislation:
TOXIC FUR: The Impacts of Fur Production on the Environment and the Risks to Human Health
A 2009 study by the Humane Society of the United States addresses the fur industry’s claims that fur is green and demonstrates how the use of animal fur by the fashion industry is far from environmentally friendly. Rather, the production of fur for fashion imposes significant adverse impacts on both the environment and human health.