In the 1990s russia was the largest producer of fur

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In the 1990s Russia was the largest producer of fur in the world. But in Russia, the production costs to raise farmed fur animals have risen since the end of the Soviet Union, prior to which fur farmers had ready access to domestic fi sh and meat processing by-products. As a result of government reforms, the Russian Government no longer subsidises feed or offers easy credit terms. Feed costs, which represent the greatest cost of producing a pelt, rose as the infrastructure of industries which provided domestic fi sh and meat by-products were destroyed. Russian fur farmers thus incur greater production cost compared with other major farmed fur-producing countries (USITC 2004 ). In Asia, Hong Kong and the mainland China are the largest producers and consumers of fur (HKTDC). According to Hong Kong Trade Development Council, under CEPA III (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement), the main- land China agreed to give all products of Hong Kong origin, including fur items, tariff-free treatment from January 2006. The majority of Hong Kong s furriers have Fig. 3 Production, use and disposal stages of fake fur (DSS Management Consultants Inc. 2012 ) To Fur or not to Fur: Sustainable Production and Consumption 53
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set up production facilities on the Chinese mainland amid higher production costs in Hong Kong. Still, many major sub-sectors of the fur industry, particularly sales and distribution, remain in Hong Kong. 9 Licenses and Regulations Different countries have different regulations on fur farming. Fur farming and trapping follow the international agreements such as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the IUCN (World Conservation Union). Provincial and territorial wildlife biologists establish regional biodiversity plans to ensure healthy wild furbearer populations (Fur Institute of Canada). Also, International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) ensures that the animals trapped follow humane trapping standards. In European Union laws exist on fur farming and animal welfare. 32.1 million animals are killed each year in EU for fur farming (ESDAW 2016 ). In EU the most commonly farmed animal species is the mink followed by the blue fox. Following are some of the rules outlined by the European Commission for fur farming: (1) Housing conditions for animals caged must be of certain speci fi cations. For example, 70 cm long by 40 cm wide and 45 cm high for minks. (2) The quality and the composition of the feed must be controlled. Feed is mainly composed of fi sh and fi sh offal, poultry offal, slaughter house offal and cereal with mineral and vitamin ingredients. (3) For fox and mink both open and closed buildings are used. Coypus are always housed outdoors and chinchillas indoors.
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