Legends of the Industry

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New Zealand’s Opossum Fur Industry Wants to Prove it's Cruelty-Free


The possum fibre and fur industry is on a mission to prove it meets international humane standards.

The industry in New Zealand is worth in excess of $120 million a year to the economy, with around 1.2m possums harvested from forests, farmland and woods each year.

The tourist trade is driving that growth, but possum-merino yarns are beginning to make an impact in the Northern Hemisphere, where there is sensitivity to any taint of cruelty on fur-products

So the Fur Council of New Zealand has hired scientist Bruce Warburton from crown agency Landcare Research, to compare possum harvest practices in New Zealand, where lightweight leg traps and cyanide are used, with standards developed internationally by the likes of Canada and Russia.

The Fur Council's Neil Mackie: "In the Northern Hemisphere there is a quite strong feeling about what is acceptable.



"We are doing some research on international best practice to substantiate that we are using best practice here."

Mackie believes the project will demonstrate New Zealand's possum harvest meets international best practice.

The widening popularity of luxury possum-merino yarn overseas means the industry must be prepared to demonstrate it, if challenged.



Following the conclusion of the research, thought will be given to proving adherence to best practice through the supply chain, though Mackie says: "It's hard to go out and audit everyone."

The work should also reduce the chance of bad press like that garnered by the dairy industry as a result of one man's abuses of bobby calves last year.

"There is potential in every industry that bad practice is going to be caught and put up on a pedestal to say, 'That's what's happening in the industry'," Mackie says.

Warburton says the light-weight traps used in New Zealand are designed to hold possums, but not to break bones, and to minimise lacerations.

The National Pest Control Agencies standards for pest control govern best practice trapping of possums.


Further Details ===> Here!


Fur Industry News - Worldwide
by RB Media Group
Posted: July 11, 2016

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