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Letter: Trapping animals for fur is cruel and unnecessary

Trapping animals for fur is cruel and unnecessary

I give two “thumbs up” to the Animal Advocates of WNY/Born Free USA billboard. Trapping animals for their fur is cruel and unnecessary. Faux furs are fashionable and manufacturers are beginning to use natural fibers like cotton and hemp to create beautiful garments. Faux fur is less expensive and lasts longer than the real thing. Animal fur will rot unless it’s treated with toxic chemicals like chromium and formaldehyde. In 1991, six New Jersey fur processors were fined more than $2 million for releasing toxic waste into the environment.

Animal fur garments require special treatment. The Fur Information Council of America states that home storage is not adequate enough to protect furs – they need to be professionally cleaned, then stored in temperature, humidity and light-controlled vaults in order to prevent “insect damage, drying out, becoming dirty or oxidizing.” On the other hand, the Good Housekeeping Institute praises faux fur as easy to clean (by hand or machine washing), easy to store (your own closet) and lasting longer than animal fur. All better for the environment. Animal fur is not biodegradable because it has been treated with toxic chemicals.

The very idea of trapping, causing such fear that the animal will gnaw off its own paw to escape, exposing it to all kinds of weather, subjecting it to starvation or predators, is a barbaric tradition that needs to be outlawed.

Maria Schnier