The rabbit fur industry is not a happy place.
As of 2016, more than 200 rabbit shelters across the United States have shut down, citing an increase in rabbits being euthanized due to COVID-19.
And this isn’t the first time the industry has faced challenges.
As a result, a number of the fur-processing companies have filed lawsuits against each other in an effort to stop COVID outbreaks.
“We’re not trying to fight the disease,” said Chris Rennison, CEO of Rabbit Fur, Inc. “If you’re doing it right, it’s all good.”
But that doesn’t mean that the industry is willing to compromise on the ethical aspects of its business.
In a new report, The Rabbit Fur Industry: A Primer for Fur Producers, the American Fur Products Council (AFPC) and the American Rabbit Association (ARR) provide an overview of the industry’s concerns.
As an industry, AFPC and ARR say that the rabbit industry is in a difficult spot.
Because there’s no standard in the industry, they say, it is difficult to make sure that the products that we make are ethically appropriate.
And because the products are made in such small numbers, they often don’t have the capacity to effectively combat the spread of disease, such as in this outbreak, said ARR President and CEO Jeff Buhl.
The rabbits industry’s efforts to make fur products as humane as possible can’t be matched by the industry itself.
“Rabbits are not just meat, they’re the foundation of our food chain,” BuhL said.
“So if we can’t take care of them, the meat industry will not be able to take care, and we’re going to see that.”
In the U.S., the rabbit trade is worth $25 billion annually, according to the American Pet Products Council.
In some countries, including the U, Australia, Canada, China, France, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and the U