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fur farming

Hunting/Farming/Taxidermy, any topic that may get heated debate.

WARNING things may get a bit rougher here than the other forums.

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Ash
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Re: fur farming

Postby Ash » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:43 pm

I see what the_unstable is saying. Personally, I would like to see fur farm foxes in enclosures, chickens free-roaming, etc. However, it isn't possible for that to happen--you take away too many farming rights, and there are way too many farms. The fact that studies have been done showing that those animals are not stressed out is an indicator; they're not self-mutilating themselves, and they are comfortabe enough that they produce young and don't eat the babies. Sure they're "missing out," but they really don't think about it like a human would.

So I would LIKE to see more free-ranging farmed animals, but I don't think it's hurting the animal or causing it distress to be in a not-so-ideal environment.

I think I project my human feelings onto animals. I wouldn't want to be in a cage, because I know there is so much more. Animals don't think like that. They fall into a routine, and are usually content. Humans don't usually keep to set routines very well (I mean, look how much we like our weekends or holidays when there is no work or school!). But a dog is happy to do the EXACT same thing day after day--of course they need some enrichment, but you get the idea.

Farmers do need to be licensed by the department of agriculture (usually just at the state level), and they do have to meet certain guide lines. There are requirements that the state provides. However, theirs are not as strict as someone who is licensed federally by the USDA.
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Re: fur farming

Postby Alynn » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:09 pm

I have to agree with Ash. Foxes don't have the same line of thinking as we do, nor do dogs. Humans, we long for many things. Foxes? As long as they have food and a roof over their head, they seem to be for the most content.

Foxes used to be kept in pens like this:
http://www.jkcc.com/pictures/silver1.jpg

But it was hard to keep clean and prevent disease. If you don't clean it out, the animal is standing it it's own waste. Wire bottom cages prevent them from doing just that.

"Cages for both foxes and mink were once much larger. Scientific studies and practical experience have led to the sizes currently used. Tests with mink have shown that neither a 400% increase nor a 50% reduction in cage size cause any change in behavior. Cage design, including access to nesting boxes, appears to be far more important, and research is now being done to identify areas where further improvements might be made."

Foxes that are trapped can spend days in traps if they aren't checked often enough, dying a slow painful death as opposed to the ones on farms that are killed quickly.

You keep mentioning how they would prefer to be wild, but the problem is these animals have been bred on fur farms for hundreds of years. They don't know how to survive in the wild any more. Like the link I posted, AR activists freed a bunch of mink, and most of them didn't go anywhere. The ones that did were hit by cars or starved. They are now totally dependent on us, and the pet trade cannot support all these foxes.

"Researchers from the University of Copenhagen's Institute of Population Biology have developed simple blood tests to identify long-term "stress" in domestic animals - before this causes any obvious disease or physical symptoms. It has been found that the concentration of eosinophile leukocytes in the blood provides a stable measure of longterm harmful stress. One of the first farmed animals studied by the researchers were mink, of which Denmark is an important producer. This research confirms that mink, in standard farm conditions, do not experience harmful stress."

http://www.montanatrappers.org/manageme ... arming.htm

These animals have to be kept in the best conditions you can manage on a fur farm in order to have quality fur. If you don't feed them decent food, and if they get stressed out and the fur quality declines.
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Re: fur farming

Postby Juska » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:36 pm

Ash and Alynn have explained further my point...domesticated animals don't care if there's something else out there. They just can't comprehend it, unlike Disney movies would like you to believe :roll:
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Re: fur farming

Postby the_unstable » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:50 pm

I know it won't happen, but it's just how I feel about it. There are a lot of bad and awful things in this world that many people don't like that will never change. It's just how it is. I know this, but I voiced my opinion anyway. Foxes can still be seen pacing their fur farm cages endlessly. I'm thinking these animals are killed before or once they are a year old. How would they fare if they were kept in those cages for 14 years straight? I bet that they would deteriorate much faster than a fox given a naturalistic enclosure.

I know that they are not as intelligent as we are. As humans, we are in control of so much and we abuse that power. Shouldn't we do what is right for the animals? We can control them, they cannot control us. We can choose their lifestyle, their fate. Out of respect, shouldn't we give them better not because they know they deserve it but because it is just what is right? Animals have given us so much. Should we not respect them for that reason alone? Fur farm cages and life do not equal respect in my book. Just because you're giving them food and not beating them to death doesn't mean that they are being respected and being given what they deserve.

And yeah, at state level, they are licensed, but it is less strict than federal and I believe Dave is licensed at the federal level, isn't he? I'm sure he applied for a USDA license, while, at least in my state, you just contact the DNR or go on their site to fill out a simple form that costs less and has more relaxed regulations to get a game breeders license.

Alynn - Food and a roof over their head eh? So they can be given a teeeeensy amount of space and as long as there is food and a roof, it's all good. Social interaction is important also. I cannot access the link for some reason.

Mink are semi-aquatic animals and the cages given at fur farms do not offer that sort of lifestyle. Foxes in traps at least lived the life that they were supposed to. Up until that point, they were probably doing pretty well. Not all foxes in the wild die in traps. Just because some do doesn't mean they fare better in fur farms.

I am not saying that they should be released in the wild, as that is no longer possible for them. But they should be given a better life. The mink did not know any other life, so perhaps that is why they stayed, out of fear? All they knew was the life in that cage, and then all of a sudden they're no longer in it, it would be very shocking and they would not know how to react or behave. Yes, the ones in fur farms are dependent on us, but I believe they never should have been in the first place, even if it means that foxes would have never been pets.

I don't know what to say about studies showing that they did not experience "harmful stress"...but what does that mean? That they are stressed, but it wasn't HARMFUL to the coat? I would not agree with the idea that because the coats look good, the fox lived a healthy and happy life. What about ruscithil's fox that was fed "special food" to make her stool liquid so it would slip through the bars easier? It would be so harmful on the body to constantly have diarrhea.

And Juska, this may come as a shock to you, but I didn't get these ideas from Disney movies. Since you seem to think fur farming is alright, perhaps it's a business you should consider joining.
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Re: fur farming

Postby Ash » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:58 pm

I think the studies to test the animal's stress levels were done examining fecal matter, and the amount of certain... chemical-stuff?... in it.

No, I see where you're coming from, and I agree with you for the most part. I guess the difference between our views is that you are more bothered by it, while I have a more "well, if they aren't stressed" I suppose they're okay viewpoint.

In all honesty, I think fur farm foxes on average live longer than most wild foxes. Red foxes have a 75% mortality rate in the first sixth months of their life (I read it in a symposim-book thing about red foxes; I admit it was written in the 80s, so it could be out of date). Breeders on fur farms live long lives. The ones killed for their fur I think are about six months old.

You're right, state standards in most states are not as strict as federal standards. In order to sell foxes (actually, any animal for that matter) you need a USDA license, so Dave is USDA licensed.

I think that there is a good parallel between fur-farmers and exotic animal owners. Support the good, responsible ones, but do not support any who are irresponsible or abusive. I think if we took away the right to farm fur (or set super strict regulations on it), many of those farmers would see it in the same light as exotic animal owners who are losing their rights due to a few bad owners.
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Re: fur farming

Postby the_unstable » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:54 pm

I believe that they would live longer than wild foxes as they don't have to worry about predators, getting hit by a car, etc, but (and I think this is an argument against exotic pet owners) just because they live longer does not mean they are healthier or better off. If 75% of red foxes died in their first six months of life in the 80's, I wouldn't be surprised if it is worse now since the human population has grown=more people to hunt them, more people to hit them with cars, etc.

I agree with your statement about the parallel between fur-farmers and exotic animal owners. There are bad and "good" of both (well, I don't know about good fur farms necessarily but I can't say for sure as, of course, I haven't seen all of them :P). I do not believe necessarily that fur farms should be illegal, but I do think it would be great if they were to hypothetically be given more space and more enrichment to better their lives. I think it is good that all parts of the animals are used, even the feces. I see that as being part of respect for the animal.
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Re: fur farming

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:00 pm

Actually I've seen several photos of fur farm fox cages that were very similar to Dave's they just weren't as new looking. Dave Started out Fur Farming and helping other fur farmers with their breeding. You could ask him what they are like. I'm sure he'd answer.

My point was not that they can learn to dig later or learn that a TV is safe later but they are not automatically deprived just due to not being exposed to something.

They can test the tress levels of animals to tell if they are stressed both acutely and long term lower level stress. They have run these tests on fur farm animals and found them to not be stressed. If the animals themselves are not upset but the housing then what is the problem?
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Re: fur farming

Postby the_unstable » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:19 pm

I've looked for photos, found some on Deviant Art taken by random people, found videos on YouTube, etc. Fur farmers don't seem to typically let people into their farms for photo taking so that's probably why the pictures are not easily found. The pictures and videos I've seen have smaller cages than what Dave has.

I understand your point that they are not automatically deprived due to not being exposed to something. But again, I bring up ruscithil's story about the rescued fox standing on the one spot of bare wire flooring because she did not know solid ground. That is not what I would call a psychologically healthy animal.

How do they know these tests are working properly? What fur farms were tested? Just because some studies and tests were run does not mean they were necessarily correct or that the chosen selection was not an exception. It is every person's choice to believe that fur farms are or are not stressful, and I believe that they are because it is what makes sense to me.
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Re: fur farming

Postby the_unstable » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:04 am

I apologize for the double post. I would like to add something.

I believe there are members of this board (some of them even participating in this thread if memory serves) that say 10'x10' is the "minimum" size a foxes enclosure should be and that they should have toys, etc. Why do people say this when apparently it is not needed according to these fur farm tests? Why don't we all save money and house our pets in small cages with wire flooring, no toys, feed them "special food" to make them have diarrhea so cleaning will be easier...? If it doesn't cause them any stress, why not, right? If they're not stressed in fur farms, then wouldn't that indicate that they are comfortable and happy? So if they're comfortable and happy with these conditions and lifestyle, why bother giving more? Yet the recommendations on this forum are 10x10 enclosures with toys, shelter, and food that doesn't give them diarrhea.
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Re: fur farming

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:18 am

Uh the food Dave recommends and sends with his foxes is fur farm food. It gives them small dry poop it's MUCH easier to clean up than diarrhea which would stick to the wire.

Some have foxes here in smaller and they are doing okay. There is a difference between adequate, good, and ideal. There is a difference between farm animal, pet and pampered pet. Adequate is not neglect or abuse but it wont make for a great pet in most cases. Do farm pigs need toys? No. Do pet pigs need toys? Yes. Doesn't mean every farm pig is neglected. There are different standards based on what you want from the animal. If every farm animal needs to be raised by pet standards food would be insanely expensive.

USDA only requires they have enough room to stand up, turn around and make normal postures. They consider that adequate. Most fur farms already give more than that.

Also more space does not always mean happier. They are normally housed side by side so even if they don't have toys they do have "enrichment" by having others to interact with. I've seen some house in groups larger than 2 so not just together for breeding but that's rare since they could harm each other(and so the fur).

Okay then what about fish in a tank? Most fish swim over huge area in the wild compared to any tank. Some people train their fish and even interact with them so you can't just write it off as they are not as advanced as foxes.

Most foxes just don't use nest boxes unless they have kits. Gizmo and Barret(and other foxes here) mostly choose to sleep on top instead of inside. They obviously must supply nest boxes though or all kits would die. They may house some just being grown after weaning for fur without nest boxes sometimes but I've actually seen quite a few photos and they normally have a nest box or part of the cage covered. Plus the growing period is during the nicer months.

As to the one fox it was not tried in a large cage with wire floor to see if it ran around normally on familiar ground. My Stewie anteater was raised inside so was scared when I'd try to take him out though he eventually learned to enjoy walks, and his life was surely richer with them, he was perfectly happy not going outside. I don't think choosing to stick with what you are familiar with, especially in a new place, is an unhealthy reaction. I think that's actually considered quite normal.

Could fur farms be better of course. Are the animals being abused and neglected routinely I don't think so. Even if you do believe that does that mean the whole industry should be shut down?
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Re: fur farming

Postby caninesrock » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:42 pm

I see alot of people in this topic saying that eating meat and fur farming are the same thing. I'd just like to point some things out.

Killing cows, chickens,pigs,etc. is not the same thing as killing foxes.

Why?

Because no one eats foxes.

The difference between killing for meat and killing for fur is that killing for meat is necessary and natural. I know some people said that meat is not necessary,but that is not scientifically true. Even vegans have to take supplements for the nutrients found in meat in order to be completely healthy. Vegans who don't look very sickly with brittle nails and hair. My sister knew someone in school like that. Nature designed humans to be omnivores, like how it designed lions to be carnivores, and deer to be herbivores. Therefore, meat is necessary. Meat is natural because there are alot of species on the planet that kill for food. Humans are the only ones who kill because they want to walk around with the dead carcass of another animal on them. Only one species doing something=not natural. It is also not necessary for us to kill for fur unless we happen to live somewhere extremely cold like the inuits in the arctic do.

In short, as long you're going to eat the animal, by all means kill any animal you want unless it's an endangered species which would be illegal.
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Re: fur farming

Postby Alynn » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:52 pm

The argument that one animal doing it = not natural is flawed quite a bit. There are many species that do things that no other species does. There are a few species that do things that no others do . I can't think of any off the top of my head, and the websites I try to go to right now are blocked by my school. So I'll just leave that alone.

But the meat is used.

Every part of the animal is used. Feces for fertilizer, meat is sold to zoos or other places to feed to their animals as birds of prey do eat mink and fox.
Also: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/860978-fox- ... -shop-menu
People DO eat foxes. In select parts of the world, at least, just like dogs and cats.

They may have been killed for their fur, but every part is used.
Cows may have been killed for their meat, but every part is used.
Bears and wolves are killed for sport, and generally every part is used.

Does the purpose really matter if every part is used and the animal is respected?
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Re: fur farming

Postby Lasergrl » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:55 pm

I would even argue that even if the carcass was dragged to the edge of the property and left to rott, it would be welcome bounty for the wildlife to eat....
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Re: fur farming

Postby Ash » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:59 pm

Humans are the only ones who kill because they want to walk around with the dead carcass of another animal on them. Only one species doing something=not natural.


I think it's better than a weasel killing a henhouse full of chickens for the shear pleasure of doing it. Or a coyote killing a fox because it sees it. Or a cat killing anything that moves because it's fun.

At least with fur the animal's parts are sought after, and respected. I don't think someone buys a fur coat thinking "I just killed ten minks for this coat!" They buy it because it's beautiful--because the mink or the fox was beautiful. I think that is a sign of respect towards the animal.
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Re: fur farming

Postby TheDarkManiac » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:15 pm

Anyone with actual respect for the animals would rather see them keep their own fur.
The animals in fur farms live in extreme confinement without toys or adequate mental stimulation.

I would not like the government to shut down fur farms(because I hate the government, screw them), but I think the day will come when nearly everyone will realize that life in a fur farm is no life for any animal and people will not want to cover themselves in the skins of slaughtered animals. Then there will be no market for fur and one of the cruelest industries will be eliminated.

I don't think any one here would subject their animals to the conditions that fur farmed animals are subjected to.

Any pet I have is going to have lots to play with and a much better and larger habitat than what the minimum requirements are. My macaw and raccoon spend very little time caged and have lots of toys and as much attention as they want.

The regulations for fur farms should at least match the minimum requirements for the same species in a zoo or same as required for exotic pet owners.

I doubt anyone could make me feel differently about fur farms. Fur wearers are being selfish and showing their inability to empathize with the animals who are killed so that they can have that flashy fur coat.

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