Denver, Let’s Leave Fur Behind

Fur clothing is a cruel and unnecessary industry that has fallen out of public favor. Yet millions of animals are still raised in cages and killed for the sake of luxury fur sales. In 2024, Denver voters have the opportunity to make fur history through a city-wide fur ban.

Endorsed by

Impactful Animal Advocacy
Climate Save Movement
Friends of Animals
Coalition to End Factory Farming
Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary
Planted
Voters for Animal Rights
Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary
Brave New Life Project
Animal Alliance Network
Plant Based Treaty
Our Honor Vets
Compassion Consortium
No Kill Colorado

The World is Evolving Beyond Fur

These countries have recently banned the practice of fur farming, leaving the U.S. lagging behind:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

Moves to end fur farming are currently underway in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and Sweden. Meanwhile, 1,581 major fashion retailers have all gone fur-free.

The fur-free movement is growing

Here in the states, bans on the sale of fur are being passed mostly on a city-wide level as we progress toward broader-scale change. Fur sales were first banned in West Hollywood in 2011, followed by Berkeley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in 2018. California successfully passed the first statewide ban on fur in 2019, demonstrating the compounding power of local initiatives.

Boulder was the first city in Colorado to ban the sale of fur in 2021, and bans have also been passed in cities in Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania. As one of the nation’s most progressive leaders in the protection of animals, we believe it’s time for Denver to join the movement.

What is a fur farm? 

“Every year, around 100 million animals are raised and killed for their fur. Over 95% of fur sold globally comes from farmed animals, such as mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, rabbits and chinchillas. On fur factory farms, animals spend their entire lives in cramped battery cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors.”

Fur Free Alliance

A fur farm is a commercial operation where animals are bred and raised for the purposes of killing them for their fur, which is used in the fashion industry to make clothing and accessories. Despite being wild species, animals on fur farms are subjected to a life of captivity in cramped and distressing conditions until they are killed for their pelts.

Fur farms are no place for a wild animal. 

Animals farmed for fur 

Animals bred for fur are species that have undergone very limited domestication, with little adaptability to captive environments. Animals typically used for fur include foxes, mink, beavers, chinchillas, rabbits, and raccoons, among many others.

Welfare problems 

Confinement in small cages on fur farms prevents animals from engaging in natural behaviors such as running, digging, and swimming. As a result, they exhibit a high number of stress-related behaviors and health problems including self-mutilation and physical deformities.

Inhumane death

Animals on fur farms are often killed using cheap and inhumane methods, with the most common being gassing or electrocution in order to preserve their fur.

Why ban fur sales?

According to Animal Ethics and the Humane Society, it takes around 10-12 dogs, up to 24 cats, 15-40 foxes, 50-60 minks, or 150-300 chinchillas to make an all-fur coat. Each of those animals was a unique individual with a desire to live their life freely. In today’s world of diverse clothing options, our vote can compel the fashion industry to end such cruelty.

Unethical Treatment of Trapped Animals

Both fur farms and trapping cause animals tremendous suffering. In addition to the extreme confinement and brutality on fur farms, trapped animals often face prolonged deaths while trying to free themselves from painful traps before either succumbing to the elements, predators, or trappers, who often drown or bludgeon them when they’re eventually found.

Studies show that slaughterhouse workers also suffer from higher rates of depression and PTSD, with some research connecting this type of work to increased crime rates in the surrounding areas, due to the psychological harms they are exposed to.

Environmental Damage

Fur farming is extremely resource-intensive, requiring land, water, feed, and a great deal of energy to keep thousands of animals captive. A life cycle analysis found mink production worse for the environment than plant-based and synthetic alternatives on 17 out of 18 themes, including climate change. Pelts are also dipped in toxic chemical preservatives which, in addition to animal waste from these farms, run off into the soil and nearby water sources.

If we truly care about animals and seek to become a more compassionate society, it’s time we evolve away from allowing such places to exist.

Public Health Risks

Scientists warn of the public health concerns of fur farms, which pose risks for the emergence of future disease outbreaks. In 2020, 11 U.S. mink farms were infected with COVID. The problem was even worse in Denmark where 17 million infected animals were killed. Additionally, the chemicals used to preserve and soften fur, which include formaldehyde, are known to be highly toxic and can be absorbed through the skin of the wearer.

What would the measure do?

We are seeking to ban the retail sale of fur in the city and county of Denver following a similar ban in Boulder, with the goal of building momentum for a successful statewide ban.

What would the ban include?

  • The sale, display for sale, distribution, or trade of any products made wholly or partly from new fur in Denver
  • The manufacture for sale of any new fur product in Denver

What would it exclude?

  • The sale of used fur products
  • The recycling of previously owned fur to make and sell new items
  • Leather, cowhide, sheepskin, wool or other fibers sheared from animals traditionally considered ‘livestock‘ in the Colorado Revised Statutes (cattle, camelids, goats, horses, sheep, pigs, and birds)
  • Fur products purchased for traditional cultural or spiritual purposes by a member of a legally recognized Native American tribe
  • The creation, display, or sale of taxidermy

Is fur really still an issue?

While many people rightly assume that fur is on its way out, the Fur Commission estimates there are still about 245 fur farms in 22 U.S. states producing about 2.5 million pelts each year. 

  • Several retail stores in Denver still sell fur products, including Overland Sheepskin, A Tsagas Furs and Leathers, Jonval Leathers and Furs, and Dan Sharp Luxury Outerwear.
  • In addition to fur coats, the use of fur trim to line hoods, boots, and accessories is still commonplace for some brands.
  • Banning the sale of fur products in Denver will have a direct impact on the fur industry, and send a clear signal to retailers that it is time to shift away from using animals for fur. Denver would also be setting a precedent, making the passing of similar laws more feasible in the future.

Volunteer

Make fur history as an activist for animals. There are many ways you can help, either locally in Denver or as a remote volunteer.

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You can make a difference. Your gift will help fund the movement to free animals from the fur industry forever.

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