A new film has shone a light on the brutally short lives of the foxes that live and die in fur farms all over the world.
“A Lifetime” has been launched by Animal Defenders International (ADI) and showcases the troubling conditions and bleakly brief lives of two foxes, brothers Eryk and Borys, who were born and killed on a Polish fur farm in the space of just over six months.
ADI placed the hidden cameras on the farm in a bid to shine a light on an industry responsible for the deaths of over 100 million animals every year. The story follows three arctic foxes from birth– ADI named them Borys, Eryk, and Aleska. The film sees them nursed by their mother and later taking their first steps as tiny, halting fox cubs.
They exist without the confines of a cage and eventually without the care of their mother, who is eventually removed while the cubs continue to explore the world around them. And as time goes on and their coats grow into a thick white fur, the realisation hits home; their days are numbered.
The film shows how, after just seven months of life, Borys and Eryk are dragged from their cage, by their tails and hung up by a back leg. They already know their fate; they have seen countless foxes die before their very eyes. But they also know there is almost nothing they can do. Electrocuted, their limp, lifeless bodies are thrown on a cart to be skinned.
Female foxes, like their sister Aleska, are spared but a worse fate awaits; she will breed the next litter of foxes and watch as her babies are taken away and killed. And yet the cruelty continues to this very day. Every day, foxes at Polish fur farms suffer chronic pain in their bent feet and overgrown claws, the result of a lifetime living on a wire mesh floor.
Animals chew their own tails off in stress while any number of health issues go untreated. And yet the industry continues. Over 110 million animals die in fur farms every year, with a further 16 million trapped in the wild for their fur.
15 million foxes are killed every year for trinkets, trim and accessories. It takes 35 foxes to create a fur coat and many of the products being sold as fake, have been found to be anything but. All this, and yet the UK remains a popular marketplace for this most diabolical of industries.
Jan Creamer, who has filmed in multiple fur farms, said:
“Small, barren cages denying wild animals anything natural are the norm for an industry responsible for the cruel and unnecessary killing of over 100 million animals every year for vanity. In the UK 74% of the public opposes the wearing of fur, so it is disappointing that 17 years after the banning of fur farms here, the country remains a hub for the import and export of fur products. We need a concerted effort to eliminate this trade worldwide and that includes people being on the look-out for real fur being sold as ‘fake’.”
Poland is the fourth largest producer of fox fur in the world – almost all are exported. ADI’s previous investigations of fur farms in Finland, the world’s largest producer of fox fur, have shown similar suffering and cruel deaths.
The ADI team has also filmed inside farms in the United States and the UK – the UK banned fur farming but remains a major dealer importing and exporting fur. The ADI findings highlight a cruel industry built on an image of beauty and luxury, desperately hiding the suffering of sensitive, intelligent, animals being farmed in filthy, intensive factory conditions or trapped for their fur.
It’s time it was shut down for good – if this film doesn’t convince you of that, nothing will.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.