Environmental Impact

Fur is a sustainable resource

american fur farming

Hunting and trapping wild fur is a well-used method of wildlife management and has little impact on the environment. There are strict quotas set by government or state conservationists to sustain populations at levels for the optimum health of the eco system. The sale of wild fur not only provides vital income for remote and indigenous communities but also helps towards managing eco-systems. The peoples living and hunting in wild, remote environments are mindful of their impact on nature and respect the animals they take. Often the whole animal is used, and that which cannot be eaten is returned to the eco-system to provide food for other wild species.

Farmed fur animals eat food that is prepared from the waste products of the meat, fish and dairy processing industries, preventing this waste from being disposed of into the environment. When the waste from fur farms themselves is well managed there are environmental benefits which include the production of bio-gas to reduce the demand for fossil fuels and the production of agricultural fertilisers to replace high-energy manufactured fertilisers.

All chemicals used in the dressing of fur are regulated to ensure environmentally responsible practices. The fur trade uses the same or gentler chemicals as used in the tanning and fabric dyeing industries – the hair or fur on a pelt is removed in the leather industry – in the fur industry the pelt has to be treated in a way gentle enough to ensure that the hair or fur remains intact. READ MORE ABOUT DRESSING & DYEING.

IFF commissioned DSS Management Consultants Inc. (WWW.DSSMGMT.COM) to produce an independent Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to enable the IFF and its members to better understand the environmental impacts associated with each stage of fur production. The results were announced in Oct 2012. The LCA involved a comparison with fake fur products, largely in response to claims that natural fur was not as “environmentally friendly.” Such claims should always be based on independent and scientifically sound data. The results have revealed a number of environmental advantages of natural fur when compared to fake fur.

In addition, along with all responsible industries, IFF sought ways and means to improve the environmental footprint of fur production. The findings of this report provide a solid foundation for the fur industry to identify opportunities to improve its environmental performance by increasing its positive contributions to environmental quality and by preventing or reducing its demand on the environment. This LCA reveals many opportunities for future improvement through all stages of the life cycle of natural fur. The fur industry is currently engaged in initiating an environmental management program; an important step being to identify and implement environmental good management practices throughout the fur life cycle.

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