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AAA Campaign Against Possum Fur at Fashion Week

Media release: Auckland Animal Action
Friday 14th October 2005

AAA to launch Campaign Against Possum Fur at Fashion Week

Auckland Animal Action is launching their Campaign Against Possum Fur next week with protests at Fashion Week. Protests will target specific designers using possum fur in their range, as well as the Fashion Week event in general for their support of the fur industry.

Possums were first introduced to New Zealand in 1837 to establish a fur trade. Due to favorable conditions and the lack of predators, possum numbers have amplified to the point where humans now consider them a pest.

Spokesperson for AAA, Rochelle Rees asks, “Why should we trust the same reckless industry who brought possums here, to deal with the matter in a swift and responsible manner?”

The fur industry’s most common killing technique is the use of the leg-hold trap, a device banned in over 89 countries. New Zealand has no legal regulations even regarding the length of time an animal can be left in a trap before the hunter must return.

Ms Rees says, “Animals caught in traps are often left for days to suffer; many have been known to chew their own legs off just to get free. How can these cruel and inhumane methods be justified?”

Tens of millions of animals, including rabbits and foxes are intensively farmed and killed for their fur every year. AAA believes that the promotion of possum fur will lead to an unsustainable demand. Ms Rees asks, “If possums are eventually eradicated as the industry claims to intend, will we start farming them to supply the demand?”

The Department of Conservation says that the number of possums killed by the fur industry is so minimal, that it has little or no impact on the possum population. Their trapping methods frequently catch off-target animals such as Cats and Dogs; they even catch native birds such as Kiwi and Weka.

Ms Rees says, “The fur industry is misleading consumers by marketing possum fur as 'eco-friendly' and 'ethical'. The sad reality is that they kill rare and endangered native birds, including the very species they claim to protect”.

Protests will start at 5.30pm on Monday, at 135 Halsey Street in Auckland’s Viaduct.

ENDS


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