A video shot in China of the harvesting of angora rabbit fur has led several top retailers to ban the sale of angora products.
The video was shot by the U.S.-based animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of animals in a rabbit farm in an undisclosed location in China. According to PETA, China produces 90 percent of the world’s angora rabbit fur and has no laws against cruelty to animals.
The PETA Asia investigator visited more than 10 angora farms in China to get the footage that shows what PETA’s report describes as “horrific routine cruelty.”
In the video, a farm worker sits on the hind legs of an angora rabbit, while the four legs of the rabbit are tied on a bench that keeps the rabbit’s body stretched straight. The worker then begins ripping out the hair of the rabbit until its body is naked.
The rabbit screams loudly as its fur is pulled out. After their fur is taken, PETA says the rabbits are thrown back into “filthy” metal cages. Many of the rabbits are said to be in shock, unable to move, eat, or drink. The video shows rabbits licking their reddish skin or huddled motionless.
The report says the angora rabbits in China’s farms have to suffer having their fur ripped out every three months. Those rabbits that survive for longer than two to five years will be killed and their meat sold.
Angora rabbit fur is long and soft, and is often used for making clothes and accessories. However, since PETA released its video, PVH Corp, the parent company of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, ARROW, Van Heusen, and other brands have agreed to ban selling any angora products and have pulled all the products with angora fur off their shelves and their Internet sites.
Other top retailers, including H&M, Topshop, Esprit, New Look, Acne Studios declared this month they will immediately stop producing and purchasing angora related products.
According to Beijing News, the PETA video has had a significant impact on orders for rabbit fur.
“Our [angora fur] export is mostly to Europe. After this incident, our orders decreased by 30 percent,” Mr. Ma, a manager with a livestock company in Zhejiang Province, told Beijing News.