Facts & Reports

Accurate statistics showing the number of animals killed by the fur trade each year are notoriously difficult to get hold of and published figures from the fur trade may not be accurate.

Statistics

Accurate statistics showing the number of animals killed by the fur trade each year are notoriously difficult to get hold of and published figures from the fur trade may not be accurate.

The other reason that the statistics can never be accurate is the constantly changing nature of the fur trade. Economics volatility as well as the vagaries of fashion mean that the overall demand for fur and for the fur of different species shifts all the time. You only have to look at the situation in Greece (a significant fur dealing and retail country) to see how significant this factor can be.

However, recent reports from around the world do reveal the true horror of the scale of the international fur trade.

 

FUR FACTORY FARMING

Most of the fur skins used by the trade come from fur factory farms and are purchased at the many fur auctions that take place around the world each year. One of the largest of these is the Kopenhagen Fur sale and at its last event of the season this year (September 2015), 6.9 million mink skins will be put up for sale.

The auction houses to provide a source for estimates of the numbers of animals killed each year. As an insight into the way those involved with the fur trade think, they refer to these dead animals as a ‘crop’. Accordingly, Kopenhagen Fur estimates this year’s (2014-2015) crop figures will be:

Mink      -           approximately 70 million (down from the 2013-2014 figure of 81.2 million)

 

Country

No. Of mink, 2014-15

China

20,000,000

Denmark

18,000,000

Poland

9,000,000

USA

4,500,000

Canada

3,000,000

Eastern Europe (excluding Poland)

6,000,000

Greece

2,000,000

 

According to these figures, almost half of all mink bred and killed for their fur come from countries that are members of the European Union.

These extremely large numbers translate to something more manageable. The fact is that, in effect, 2 mink are killed for every second of every minute of every day of the year - just for the skins off their backs.

 

Fox Breeding.

 

Again, using fur trade sources the following table can be produced which shows that a half of all fox bred for their fur come from EU countries with Finland accounting for nearly all of them.

 

Country

No. Of fox, 2010

Finland

1,800,000

China

1,400,000

Norway

200,000

Poland

100,000

Russia

100,000

Rest of world

100,000

TOTAL

3,700,000


 

TRAPPING

Most fur from animals trapped in the wild comes from USA, Canada and Russia. Statistics are even more difficult to obtain and/or unreliable than for factory farmed skins. Any published figures do not include the significant numbers of animals trapped and discarded either because their fur has no value to the trapper or the animals are from endangered species and their deaths could lead to prosecution so the evidence is concealed.

Canada used to produce annual statistics recording how many animals pelts are produced and sold each year but stopped publishing this data in 2012 due to government cut backs. The latest (and last) figures available are for 2009 when 730, 915 wild animal pelts were sold for a total of CAN$14,847,952.

 This total included:

265,071  muskrat

139,220  beaver

47,340    coyote

92,959    marten

32,072    raccoon

2,055     black or brown bear

9,405     otter

2,867     wolf

   

In the US, no federal statistics are produced and the last time a thorough analysis of the number of animals trapped in all 50 states was carried out was for the 1998-99 trapping season.


Species

Number trapped in US in 1998-99

Badger

6,750

Beaver

333,132

Black bear

59

Bobcat

24,070

Coyote

154,660

Fisher

8,441

Fox, Arctic

208

Fox, Gray

77,334

Fox, Red

130,082

Fox, Kit/Swift

444

Lynx

2,785

Marten

9,013

Mink

147,598

Muskrat

1,426,857

Nutria

131,271

Opossum

227,365

Otter

17,614

Racoon

1,846,649

Ringtail

4,174

Skunk

77,624

Weasel

7,941

Wolf

1,495

Wolverine

505

TOTAL

4,636,081


The best current estimate is that 3-5 million animals are trapped each year in the US.


CANADIAN SEAL HUNT

 

Canadian harp seal hunt Total Allowable Catch (TAC) figures set by the Canadian government and total number of seals killed:


YEAR

TAC - HARP SEALS

ACTUAL CATCH

2015

400,000

35,304 *

2014

400,000

54,600

2013

400,000

90,318

2012

400,000

69,175

2011

400,000

37,609

2010

330,000

61,000

2009

280,000

91,000

2008

275,000

217,636

2007

270,000

224,745

2006

375,000

354,867

2005

319,500

329,829

2004

350,000

365,971

2003

289,512

289,512

2002

275,000

312,367

2001

275,000

226,493

2000

275,000

92,068

1999

275,000

244,603

1998

275,000

282,624

1997

275,000

264,210

1996

250,000

242,906

1995

186,000

65,767

1994

186,000

61,379

1993

186,000

27,003

1992

186,000

68,668

1991

186,000

52,588

1990

186,000

60,162

1989

186,000

65,304


*  In 2015, 910 grey seal pups were also killed.


 

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