ACTAsia raises awareness about the exploitation of people, animals and the environment in consumer product industries. China has the largest population in the world and one of the fastest growing economies, so the demand for consumer goods is rapidly increasing. Mass production places the highest value on cost-cutting and profits. This leads to brutality and environmental damage, especially in the production of animal-based products, such as meat, fur, or traditional Chinese medicine.
China is the largest consumer and producer of fur products in the world. As a nation, it is responsible for the slaughter of approximately two million cats and dogs for their skins each year, as well as millions of other animals, including mink, foxes and rabbits. While the fur industry is declining in some parts of the world, it is growing in China due to low-cost production methods based on a lack of animal welfare regulations and lax environmental standards. In recent years, fur clothing has become a status symbol for women of all ages, with its popularity also extending to men.
Since April 2014, ACTAsia has continued with its 5th year of the Fur Free China campaign which consists of regional events, a training workshop and the famous Cruelty Free Fashion Show. In the past year and a half ACTAsia has been working tirelessly to increase consumer awareness on the plight of animals used for their fur through a wide variety of activities.
As a nation, China is responsible for the slaughter of approximately two million cats and dogs for their skins each year, as well as millions of other animals, including mink, foxes and rabbits.
Each year, ACTAsia monitors the annual conference of the National Peoples’ Congress (NPC) and Chinese Peoples’ Political Consultative (CPPC). Before this important political event, ACTAsia releases photos of NPC and CPPC members who have worn fur at previous events and appeals to them to refuse to wear fur again. As a result, no NPC and CPPC member wore fur garments during the 2014 conference.
The 2014 annual training workshop was attended by 41 university representatives and 3 animal protection groups from a total of 19 provinces and this not only lead to the 1st Fur Free Bike Ride in WuHan – organised as a carnival event to welcome children, students and families to take part – but also to the organization of 45 other face to face fur free awareness events taking place throughout the country. In addition, ACTAsia held an exhibition display stand at the prestigious 4day China Charity Fair in Shenzhen (the only national charity event in China) and supported Animal Earth Hong Kong to stage a protest – which we attended – outside the International Fur Trade Fair (IFTF) in Hong Kong on 28th Feb 2015. Trading in furs at this Fair represents a turnover of $150 million. This year, more than 100 protesters joined the protest and the fair was shut to prevent them entering the building where the fair was held.
Ending 2014 and welcoming 2015, ACTAsia held its 2nd Cruelty Free Fashion Show in Beijing. There were over 220 participants (performers and singers), 20 models and 19 fashion brands representing 6 countries including: Belgium, China, Korea, Poland, USA and the UK. The estimated media reach was 720 million people and Chinese Fur Free Retailers increased to a total of 8. Once the fashion show was over, it was time for the Chinese New Year Gala Show. ACTAsia monitors this show each year and highlights through various media channels, the celebrities who wear fur to the event. Prior to the New Year, ‘The Guidelines of Fur Free New Year Gala Show’ were introduced by email, post or in person to the TV stations. In total, 21 cities in 19 provinces received the Guidelines. The results from monitoring the shows were publicised through a press release. Both Beijing TV and Heilong Jiang TV were labelled as the champions of “Bloody Black New Year Gala” as both TV stations broadcast fur advertisements throughout the programmes.
With China being the largest producer of fur in the world, it is now more than ever of paramount importance to cultivate compassionate consumers who will choose an alternative and cruelty free lifestyle. It will not be easy or fast but it is necessary that we all work towards this goal.