INTRODUCCION

El bienestar animal es la principal prioridad para la IFF y todos los miembros de la industria peletera internacional. Existe una gran diferencia entre bienestar animal y derechos de los animales. El bienestar animal se basa en la idea de que los animales no deben sufrir y los seres humanos deben hacerse responsables de que esto sea así. Al hablar de derechos de los animales nos referimos a la idea de que los animales tienen derechos que son completamente independientes de los seres humanos y por lo tanto no debemos utilizarlos como alimento o vestimenta.

El sector peletero respeta el bienestar animal tanto de manera legal cuando lo requieren las autoridades gubernamentales, como de manera voluntaria siempre actuando por encima de los límites mínimos establecidos. Por favor, lea más sobre bienestar animal y derechos de los animales.

Los grupos que están contra el uso de pieles de animales no quieren oír este mensaje. Muchas de las campañas que se realizan contra el uso de pieles y las personas que las promocionan no se enfocan en mejorar el bienestar animal sino simplemente en abolir el comercio de las pieles por razones ideológicas. Muchos mitos que circulan contra el uso de las pieles pueden ser fácilmente desacreditados.

Los animales de las granjas peleteras están protegidos contra enfermedades y condiciones de vida inadecuadas. Piensen en esto: las granjas peleteras desean elevar la calidad de los productos que van a vender. De esta manera, se garantiza que los animales van a estar bien cuidados para poder producir pieles de la más alta calidad. Existen muchas reglas y regulaciones para la cría y captura de animales de pieles finas en todo el mundo. Para más información, pueden visitar la sección bienestar de nuestro sitio web.

Transparencia

Durante los últimos años, la industria ha demostrado cada vez más transparencia. Muchos países europeos, como Dinamarca, ahora aplican una política de “granja abierta” invitando a miembros del público a visitar las granjas para que comprueben personalmente los estándares de bienestar en vigor. Esto se hace generalmente para disipar los mitos acerca del cuidado de los animales, las condiciones en las que se crían y el funcionamiento de la granja en general. Conozcan a un granjero en el siguiente video.

BIENESTAR ANIMAL Y DERECHOS DE LOS ANIMALES

These two things may sound similar, but there is a big difference between them. Animal welfare means animals are well cared for and have access to clean water, nutritious food, shelter and veterinary care, to name a few. Generally, animal welfare means the farmer, or animal owner, needs to ensure the animals they tend to are cared for responsibly and in accordance with the latest available scientific knowledge and best practices. Animal rights means that animals have rights, similar to the rights conferred upon people; it means animals are completely independent of us and people therefore do not have the right to use animals in any way.

This sounds very academic and complex, but in simplest terms it means that people cannot use animals for any reason – ever. Animal welfare largely acknowledges that animal use is acceptable as long as there is no avoidable suffering and every effort is made to keep the animals comfortable and healthy.

Animal rights groups frequently campaign to end the use of meat, leather, wool, dairy products, silk, medical animal research, guide dogs, horse racing and, in many instances, pets.

Most of us would agree that we have the right to make choices that affect our own lives. No one, for instance would dream of forcing someone who is vegan to eat meat. It is their choice and should be respected.

Many animal rights activists however, cannot bring themselves to respect the rights of others to make their own choices and sometimes demand that governments “ban” the production and trade of may animal products, including fur. You can read more about this in our Freedom of Choice (link to IFF page here) section.

LIBERTAD DE ELECCION

La libertad de elección es algo que el sector peletero respeta mucho. El uso de pieles es un lujo y, en consecuencia, las empresas que trabajan en este sector histórico y altamente especializado dependen de los miembros del público que han elegido usar pieles. Nosotros valoramos la libertad que cada uno tenemos para determinar nuestras propias elecciones y la manera en la que vivimos nuestras vidas: con quién nos relacionamos, adónde vamos y qué usamos. Todos deberíamos tener la libertad de tomar nuestras propias decisiones en este aspecto. Rechazamos fundamentalmente las convocatorias a restringir o prohibir a las personas que realicen sus elecciones.

Cuando quienes se oponen al uso de pieles, se expresan en los medios y en las redes, generalmente convocan a “prohibir” el uso de pieles. Si se trata de comercio, cría o captura de poblaciones numerosas, estas personas no dicen mucho, solo proponen sancionar legalmente las actividades relacionadas con las pieles. En tiempos modernos tenemos unas de las más grandes variedades de elección en algunos sectores, mientras que en otros las cosas están más restringidas. Esta visión del mundo del todo o nada, en la que cuando a alguien no le gustan las cosas, pide una prohibición, es inmadura, intolerante y no es algo que nos parece bien en la sociedad.

Environmental & Societal Sustainability

Something is Environmentally Sustainable when the demands placed on the environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.

Fur farming is a modern and highly efficient process that has honed itself to be optimally sustainable using for example the waste products of other industries (e.g. eggs, cheese, fish and meat) to feed the animals that give us fur. On the other end of the production the waste products from fur including dung, animal fat etc. can be used in the manufacturing of biofuels, cement, pharmaceuticals and fertiliser making fur farming today a process that has minimal environmental impact.

Wild fur comes from carefully-managed and abundant wild furbearer populations throughout North America and Russia providing a surplus which can be harvested on an annual basis without negatively impacting the populations. Federal, State, Provincial and Territorial governments control this sustainable harvest, which is conducted by licensed trappers using regulated and certified traps during carefully regulated seasons.

When furs are preserved (known as Dressing & Dyeing), like any process using chemistry, it is highly regulated. Frequent government inspections make sure the output of the product and any emissions conform to the highest standards. The process requires salts (which are filtered out of emissions) to preserve and sawdust to clean the skins. After this, the sawdust can be reused to generate power for the mechanical processes like stretching. Fur dressers are highly skilled and are always looking to make their process more sustainable, including new efforts to certify their work with independent assessment organisations.

Societal Sustainability is harder to define. The fur industry employs approximately a million people around the world and with tens of billions of US Dollars annually of economic activity directly related to fur, the industry makes a huge contribution to tax revenues and to the incomes of rural communities. Fur businesses are most often family-owned as the skills are passed form one generation to the next. Fur also allows many indigenous communities to carry out their traditional way of life, (e.g. Inuit seal hunters) while providing for their families in some of the harshest climates on Earth.

Another aspect of this kind of sustainability is that societies make decisions about what kinds of activities/organisations are allowed and which are not based on many factors like relative cost to the society, public opinion, etc. The fur industry demonstrates well why it deserves “license to operate” however the opposition fur has faced in the past years is proof that there is still work to be done in this area particularly in public communication.

Further reviewing and improving welfare standards, making processes more efficient, producing better quality products and demonstrating Environmental and Societal Sustainability to consumers and to the public at large are key to securing the license to operate for the fur trade, well into the future.

Day in the Life of a Mink- Exposing animal rights myths

THIS day-in-the-life video shows how mink truly live – and it’s not how the animal rights brigade want you to believe.

Activists are quick to claim it is impossible for farmed fur animals to live a comfortable and healthy life.

But our round the clock video of a typical farmed mink nails the myth once and for all.

Farmers worldwide provide excellent nutrition and care for their animals.

Raised in pens, farmed mink are well cared for and have an opportunity to express natural behaviors.

In fact, the quality of their lifestyle is as good, if not better, than a lot of family pets.

In contrast with their wild cousins, farmed mink enjoy constant easy access to nutritious food and clean water. Animals are also well protected from predators and extreme weather. And have superb veterinary care.

Today, 50% of global fur production comes from Europe. A wide range of EU legislation applies to fur farming, including strict regulations on killing methods, trapping, international trade and animal welfare.

Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation said: «There is a lot of misinformation about fur farming, so we wanted to show you what it’s really like. That’s why we placed a camera in a mink cage for 24 hours, so you can judge yourself what happens. The minks conditions are run by many rules and regulations. These are set up by scientists and vets.

«As you can see from the film, the mink have time to play and interact with each other. We believe that our farms operate to the highest standards. But take a look yourself. In many countries, we offer farm visits.»

By implementing WelFur, the most advanced animal welfare assessment programme, the European fur sector aims to create the highest standards in animal welfare and enhance the quality of the fur produced.

Fur farmers and fur sector workers dedicate their whole lives to caring for animals, they continually do research into welfare and are always trying to do things better.

Interested in visiting a fur farm?

To visit a fur farm, fill out the form and a representative from the IFF will contact you and refer you to the right place.

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