Fur prices down in Ohio, trappers blame lack of foreign interest

raccoon trap Critter Care Wildlife Society
We wrote about a couple of online news outlets falling for the fur industry spin last week. And this week we have even more evidence that the fur industry is not recovering – and is in fact continuing to dwindle.

The Norwalk Reflector, based in Ohio, reported that auction prices are continuing to fall.

“Caution. That is the word all raw fur buyers are using to describe their buying of fresh pelts this fall,” wrote The Reflector’s Don Hohler.

The trappers and fur-buyers interviewed point to reduced demand in two major importers of North American fur: Russia and China. Both are well-known to be the countries driving the industry these days, but with economic and political sanctions against Russia, and new restrictions on government gifts and a more frugal upper class in China, the prices are falling.

This is indicative of a few things:

  1. North Americans aren’t buying fur. As a massive consumer culture, we can easily create demand for products. But the fact of the matter is the vast majority of fur harvested by trapping or factory farming in North America is shipped overseas.
  2. Fur is a commodity. There are more affordable, higher-quality and ethically-sourced materials than fur. In remote regions, where staying warm is part of everyday survival, synthetics and organic blends are the norm – not fur.
  3. Our governments are supporting a losing business. As much as $20,000,000 was poured into Nova Scotia fur farmers’ pockets as bailout money last year. The federal and provincial governments have long supported trapping through subsidies, programs and policies. And it’s a losing gambit that should be left in the past.

“We regularly hear people saying fur is back,” Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The Fur-Bearers says. “They see it everywhere, we’re told. While Canada Goose continues to use coyote fur, much of what is seen by the casual observer is not, in fact, real fur. Due to the high-quality of production of faux furs, it can be hard to tell. Fur is not back – and we are going to continue to speak for the animals to #MakeFurHistory.”

Raccoon in a Duke cuff trap photo by Critter Care Wildlife Society

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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