Bunny Fur: It’s all a CoverUp: Angora&Akubra

Image courtesy Porsche's rescue
Image courtesy Porsche's rescue

This is Fabio, he is a Rex rabbit breed. This breed is used for fur. Do not let the likes of Fabio live and die brutally for fashion.

Fur farming is not specifically banned in Australia, even though the Australian government banned the importation of dog and cat fur in 2004 through the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.

This is Fabio’s brother. He was born unlucky. He was born into the fur industry. His suffering will be immense. He is scared.

Image courtesy Freedom for Farmed Rabbits
Image courtesy Freedom for Farmed Rabbits

Clothes containing fur and Angora sold in Australia come from rabbits subjected to the brutal handling and lives outlined in the following sub-sections.

In 2006, a proposal to ban the import of all fur produced in contravention of minimum animal welfare standards overseas was proposed by the New South Wales Young Lawyers Animal Law Committee and Lawyers for Animals. This proposal was reissued in 2009.

The proposal was based on findings from some international investigations such as evidence obtained by the Swiss Animal Protection on the Chinese fur industry. The request was “to extend the ban of dog and cat fur to the import and export of fur produced in contravention of minimum animal welfare standards”. The request was rejected despite the following evidence produced to the government:

Stunning of animals by repeatedly striking their heads and bodies with a metal or wooden stick or the swinging of animal by their hind legs so that their head strikes the ground repeatedly.

Animals hung by their legs or tails to be skinned, many of which are still alive, conscious and struggling.

The use of knives to cut through the rear of the belly of animals and workers wrenching the animals’ skin from their suspended bodies until the skin comes off the body and over the head.

The bloodied bodies of animals being thrown into a pile of carcasses, many of the animals still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly.

Akubra

Image courtesy Freedom for Farmed Rabbits
Image courtesy Freedom for Farmed Rabbits

Akubra is an iconic Australian hat. Each Akubra hat is made with an average of 12-14 rabbit skins, from the likes of Fabio.

Some of the fur comes from hunted rabbits in Australia while the rest is imported from places such as Belgium, France and the Ukraine.

Whichever country the fur comes from, it will be from intensively farmed rabbits, who will be skinned and brutally killed for their fur and skins.

Previous suppliers to Akubra include intensive rabbit farms in Australia. Those farms have been exposed for animal cruelty.

Akubra is still legally able sell its hats as Australian Made. According to the Australian Made Campaign, products that have 50 per cent or more of the cost of making the product attributed to Australian materials or production processes and are manufactured in Australia are considered Australian made.

akubra1
akubra

Angora

angora-rabbit

This is an Angora rabbit. They are the only breed of rabbits from which wool suitable for spinning can be harvested. They are the only rabbit whose hair grows continuously throughout the animal’s lifetime.

Image courtesy PETA
Image courtesy PETA

Angora rabbit production is an intensive animal production agricultural system.  In Australia rabbits can only be intensively housed for commercial production in facilities that prevent escape of the housed rabbits. Housing systems are in accordance with the Model Code of Practices for the Welfare of Animals – Intensive Husbandry of Rabbits (1991), although this is a guide only and is not regulated by government agencies.

Image courtesy PETA
Image courtesy PETA

China has dominated the angora world market for decades. In the late 1980’s, the Western Australian Angora industry used one level wire cage systems rather than multi-level systems used in the dominant Angora producing countries. Wire cages have been used in Australian intensive rabbit industries, as they are considered to be easier to clean.

In 2014, PETA Asia, alongside one international clothing company and a veterinarian traveled to China to meet up with angora company officials and an auditor to see what was really happening on Angora farms. The group visited five farms in different regions of mainland China. Those visits were all unannounced.

Image courtesy PETA
Image courtesy PETA

The following are direct quotes from these investigations:

“live rabbits’ fur is ripped out of their skin and that they’re forced to live under horrendous conditions

Rabbits were yanked out of enclosures by their sensitive ears and pinned under workers’ feet while they were violently sheared

Some sites used a rope for suspending “problem animals” by their forelimbs in order to pluck or shear them more easily dangled from the ceiling

The temperature was over 100 degrees F (37.8C) with 80%, and the rabbits were given little to no protection from the elements

Most of the rabbits were suffering from a severe skin irritation caused by excessive salivation. As a result, these areas of skin had become severely infected. Many animals exhibited rapid, open-mouthed breathing brought on by heat stress or respiratory disease

Image courtesy PETA
Image courtesy PETA

Veterinary care was grossly inadequate or non-existent. In many cases, the rabbits weren’t offered any treatment for severe and chronic infections, sores, respiratory distress, malnutrition, blindness, or neurological damageSome were so sick and weak that they lay in their own waste and didn’t respond to being touched

Of the farms that the group visited, rabbits were not euthanized on site under any circumstances, no matter how sick or injured they were. They were left to languish for days, weeks, or even months without relief or treatment before finally succumbing ”

The majority of angora sold in Australia comes from similar conditions to those investigated by Peta Asia.

fabio4

You can help rabbits like Fabio and his brother by refusing fur and angora products.

Tell stores to stop selling fur and angora by downloading our (A4 double sided) leaflet (pdf) and letter (word document).