Anti-Fur Protests Led By Activists, KOLs & Lawmakers Urge HK Government To Ban Dangerous & Cruel Trade
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An anti-fur demonstration was held on the 17th February to appeal to the Hong Kong government to adopt an import and sales ban on fur and fur products, and protest against city’s role in the international fur trade.
Around 100 protestors, joined by pro-democratic lawmakers Au Nok-hin, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick and Claudia Mo Man-ching, marched from Wan Chai to the Central Government Offices in Admiralty. They handed in a petition to Edward Yau Tang-wah, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development. Local actor and model Richie Kul also participated in the protest.
Hong Kong is a crucial hub for the international fur trade. Although the city is not a manufacturing base for fur, it operates as a key centre for import and exports sales of fur and fur products. The Hong Kong Fur Federation (HKFF) hosts an annual fur fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The many transactions taking place during the four-day event makes Hong Kong one of the top fur trade cities in the world.
Statistics from the Trade Development Council show that the city is the world’s third major source of fur garments, accounting for 49% of its exports in 2018. The leading markets of Hong Kong’s fur clothing exports include the European Union, South Korea and Canada.
Not only does the fur manufacturing and trade industry engage in animal cruelty, but it also contributes to harming the environment. Hazardous chemicals, such as formaldehyde and chlorinated phenols, are often used in the treating process to prevent animal pelts from decaying. In addition to contributing to ecosystem degradation, research also suggests that these gases can pose health risks.
The core goal of the anti-fur demonstration was to push for legislative action from the government to ban the fur trade, and for the HKCEC to prohibit the international fur fair.
Many places have already taken legislative steps to ban fur farming and fur trade. The United Kingdom and Japan have banned fur farming. Major cities including Los Angeles, West Hollywood, San Francisco and Sao Paolo have prohibited the sale of fur. Luxury brands have also recognised the animal cruelty and environmental impact of fur in recent years, with labels such as Versace, Chanel and Gucci going “fur-free”. Protest organizers hope Hong Kong lawmakers will consider Hong Kong following suite.
Head organiser Wendy Chan said in a statement that “We want to deliver a message to [Chief Executive] Carrie Lam and [Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development] Edward Yau, as the heads of government – they can either be pro or anti-fur. This brutal industry not only kills over a billion animals every year but also harms workers and the planet”.
The Hong Kong Ban Fur Movement can be tracked through #hkbanfur on social media platforms Twitter and Instagram.
Lead image courtesy of the Hong Kong Ban Fur Movement.