After PETA Asia’s shocking look into Chinese angora-wool farms revealed that live rabbits have the fur ripped out of their skin by the fistful, millions of people worldwide were stunned. Many people thought that the wool was obtained without harming the animals, but when they saw the cruelty, they spoke out loudly and forcefully, and retailers worldwide listened. As a result, dozens of top retailers banned angora, including David Jones, H&M, Myer, Target Australia, QVC, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Forever 21.
However, some brands continued to use angora in their clothing lines, saying that they trusted their suppliers and that third-party audits deemed them “humane”. So now PETA affiliates have visited angora farms in China deemed “humane” by third-party auditors and discovered rampant suffering, neglect and cruelty beyond imagination.
As detailed in a new report, staff and a veterinarian from PETA US conducted unannounced inspections of five farms in China’s Shandong and Zhejiang provinces, which had been audited only weeks before and deemed “humane”, and found abuse even worse than previously documented. The group found that rabbits not only had their fur ripped from their skin, leaving them in distress and their bodies bare, but also suffered from painful medical conditions, including eye infections, inner-ear infections, debilitating neurological diseases, heat stress and respiratory diseases. The veterinarian found that rabbits were being denied basic veterinary care and relief from heat in excess of 37 degrees.
As heartbreaking as this trip was, it was also extremely meaningful because it exposed the failure of the auditing system on which so many companies rely – breaking the “humane” farming myth wide open. To date, more than 100 companies have banned angora.
There’s no such thing as “humane” angora wool, sheep wool, fur, down or anything else that’s taken from an animal. All animals used for clothing suffer tremendously. Vegan materials are the only humane option, and with so many beautiful synthetics and natural-fibre fabrics available today, it’s easy to be both compassionate and fashionable.
Posted by Claire Fryer