Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are calling for an “exhaustive review” of fur-processing equipment in the U.S. Senate and are calling on the White House to provide information on how it can best protect endangered animals.
The senators wrote a letter Tuesday to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting an “urgent review” to ensure “that the EPA has the tools and authority necessary to effectively and safely manage fur processing.”
“The Department of the Interior has no established procedures for managing fur production,” the senators wrote, “and its decision-making processes for the fur industry have been characterized as opaque, arbitrary and arbitrary.”
The senators also asked for information on “the types of equipment currently used to process fur, its environmental impact, and the potential environmental impacts to threatened species of animals.”
The letter cites the fur processing industry’s ability to process about 25 million pounds of fur a year, making it the fourth-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
The industry produces roughly 10% of the fur used in the fur trade and contributes more than $30 billion to the U,S.
While some lawmakers have criticized the fur business for “destroying America’s wildlife,” they are not the only ones to call for an examination of the industry’s safety and welfare.
In June, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that directed EPA to conduct an “in-depth review” into the fur-processing industry.
“It is imperative that the American people have access to reliable information on this important industry and its role in the economy of the United Sates,” the lawmakers wrote.
“It is also essential that the Department of Interior conduct an in-depth study of the current and potential impact of fur on endangered species.”
In November, EPA announced that it would launch an investigation into the industry.
The agency is looking into whether fur production should be classified as an “intensive agricultural use” in the new regulation, which is expected to be finalized in 2018.