Ahead of Fur Free Friday, an international day of action held on November 29, celebrities are speaking out in support of the campaign by Animal Defenders International (ADI) to stop the suffering of animals bred, trapped, and killed for their fur.

Etsy is one of the few major companies without a fur free policy in place, and ADI is urging the online marketplace to step away from the cruel fur trade and banish real fur sales from its global site.

Ricky Gervais: “When you buy real fur, you’re basically saying ’I’m okay with defenseless animals being trapped in the wild or kept in hideous conditions and then killed.’ But it’s not okay. It’s disgusting and unnecessary. Please don’t buy real fur.”

Joaquin Phoenix: “From the moment they are born until their deaths, animals farmed for their fur suffer. There’s no excuse for this cruelty, so please choose compassion and together let’s end this terrible trade.”

Intensively farmed in barren, cramped, filthy conditions, animals reared and killed for their fur are deprived of their natural lives, the lifelong stress, deprivation, and extreme confinement causing both psychological and physical harm.

ADI’s investigation of a fur farm in Poland, one of Europe’s largest producers, captures a rare insight into the industry, which kills more than 100 million animals a year worldwide. The short film “A LIFETIME” documents the lives of two sibling foxes who were born, lived, and then killed at the farm when they were just seven months old; while “NEVER HUMANE” demolishes industry claims that killing is quick, efficient and humane.

At least 18 countries have fur farming bans in place. In the US, fur bans are already in place in San Francisco, Berkeley, West Hollywood, with a Los Angeles ban coming into effect on January 1, 2021. Last month, California Governor Newsom signed into law statewide bans AB273, which bans fur trapping and the sale of ‘raw’ fur, and AB44, which will ban the sale and manufacture of fur by January 1, 2023.

Reflecting consistent and growing public opposition to the brutal fur trade, many designers, fashion brands, and retailers have fur free policies in place. Sadly, Etsy is not currently one of them, although with 42.7 million active buyers and 2.3 million active sellers, it has the potential to do a world of good.

The New-York based company, which has offices in California, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, India, and Ireland, has a prohibited items policy preventing the sale of cat and dog fur, but this compassionate stance is not extended to other species who will suffer just as they do when bred and killed for their fur.

Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said: “The reality behind Etsy’s fur pompoms, trim, and other listings are animals who have experienced a life of suffering and a painful death. With the power to do a world of good, Animal Defenders International urges Etsy to step away from the cruelty and say no to fur.”

During a review of items costing £10 (around $13) or under on its UK store (undertaken November 13 and 18 and excluding vintage items), ADI found 142 items containing real rabbit (51%), fox (17%), mink (9%), raccoon (6%), squirrel (6%) and other animal fur on sale. The highest number of items were listed, as would be expected, under Accessories (26%), closely followed by Craft Supplies and Tools (22%), then Bags & Purses (13%), Bath & Beauty (9%), Home & Living (5%), Pet Supplies (8%), Jewellery (6%), Toys & Games (5%), Weddings (3%), Art & Collectables (2%), Party & Paper Supplies (1%). There are also hundreds more real fur items priced at more than $13 on the store.

In a similar review of items listed on Etsy’s US store (undertaken November 22), ADI found several items containing real fur, including: fox and rabbit fur pompoms ($8/$4.75); tanned mink tails ($5.95); and raccoon and grey squirrel tail key chains ($7.99/$11.95).

In addition to Ricky Gervais and Joaquin Phoenix, celebrities supporting ADI’s campaign include Emily Deschanel, Joanna Lumley, Gemma Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Sara Pascoe, Peter Egan, Moby, Elaine Hendrix, Alexandra Paul, and Bob Barker.

Find out more and learn how you can help at ad-international.org/fur.

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