March For a Fur Free Switzerland 2019 / Press Information 14.11.2019

On Saturday, November 17th 2019, we will march against fur for the third time in Zurich. In view of the suffering caused to humans, animals and the environment by the fur industry - and in view of the failed fur declaration ordonnance - we demand a complete import ban on real fur products. The march has been permitted by authorities and will start on Helvetiaplatz at 14:00, leading through downtown Zurich and back to Helvetiaplatz where we’ll welcome speakers Meret Schneider (National Councillor, Green Party) and Sarah Heiligtag (founder of animal sanctuary “Hof Narr”) at about 16:00.

Zurich, Saturday, November 16th 2019: The March For a Fur Free Switzerland is taking place under the slogan «We’re making Switzerland fur free!» and focussing on current issues: There are many, mostly green voices in the new Parliament in favor of an import ban. Recent development shows it’s possible: California has just become the first US state to implement a total ban on the import and selling of fur, after having already banned its production. (1) Furthermore. Macy’s - the biggest department store operator in the US - will go completely fur free starting 2021. (2)

Obviously feeling threatened by this, the fur lobby keeps coming up with ever more perfidious arguments: Saying fur is a « natural and sustainable » product, and that furs coming from population control hunting must be used. Meanwhile, 99% of all furs sold in Switzerland come from abroad – and the fur industry is anything but natural or sustainable.

« In order to supply the worldwide demand, there are entire provinces in China living solely off the fur production – no matter what Swiss furriers say. The «natural» animal skins, mostly coming from industrial breeding farms, have to be processed chemically before they can be sold. For that, they are flown to China from all over the world, where thousands of workers on tanneries risk their health every day while working with toxic chromium salts. » (3)

Chemical waste from tanning and dyeing factories are often dumped into the groundwater illegally in China, and independent sources often find residue of toxic chemicals in fur trims on clothes: Consumers are in danger, as well. (4)

Over 110 million animals die annually for the fur production, they are all bred or hunted solely for their pelts: Fur is never a waste product of slaughter. Animals on fur farms spend their lives crammed into tiny cages, never able to fulfill any of their natural needs – behavioral problems and self-mutilations are the norm. Gassing and anal electrocuting are recommended killing methods in Europe, whereas in China, animals are mostly clubbed to death and often skinned alive. In Canada, wild coyotes often suffer for days in leg hold traps to end up as fur trims for Canada Goose, and in Finland, polar foxes are bred beyond recognition to generate more fur. (5)

The Swiss Federal Council wanted to oppose these conditions by implementing an ordonnance to declare real fur products (PDV) in 2014, but it has desperately failed: As controls by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office show, over 70% of all retailers still declare falsely or not at all. This has also been strongly criticized by Zurich Animal Protection. (6) Earlier this year, they’ve announced to improve the PDV by including the term «real fur» in the future, but they are also introducing more loopholes for producers concerning the origin and keeping methods.

« We demand an import ban because the standard production methods of the fur industry would be legally considered animal abuse in Switzerland, no matter what the declaration says. By importing and selling real furs into this country, we support what we condemn and forbid in our own country. »

The international fur industry has invested billions into spreading lies about sustainability and humane breeding facilities; consumers cannot be willfully mislead and held accountable at the same time. We’ve already implemented bans on seal, dog and cat furs so that consumers would not unknowingly support animal abuse - and international trade agreements did not stand in our way then.

That is why we take to the streets on Saturday, November 16th 2019 in Zurich: To demand an import ban on all fur products – because only a ban can stop us from supporting this murderous industry. During the march, we will direct our attention at the retailers who continuously refuse to stop selling fur: Bogner, Grieder, Boutique Marie Claire / Modekeller Fashion Group, ESCADA & Co.

We give animals a voice - we make Switzerland fur free! #CHFurFree


1. BBC News / California becomes first US state to ban animal fur products

2. CBS News / Macy’s announces it will stop selling fur by end of 2020 fiscal year

3. NDR Dokumentation / Die Wahrheit über Pelz

4. Schweizer Tierschutz Recherche / «Toxic Fur»

5. Billiger Echtpelz - Den Preis zahlen die Tiere (Kassensturz)

6. Zürcher Tierschutz / BLV-Bericht zur Kontrollperiode 2018/2019

7. Tier im Recht kritisiert: Hohe Mängelrate bei der Deklaration von Pelzprodukten zeigt Notwendigkeit eines entsprechenden Importverbots

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