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Kopenhagen Fur, the world’s largest fur auction house, is set to close its doors for good following a drop in demand.
The long-running establishment is a cooperative company owned by 1,500 Danish fur farmers and founded in Denmark in 1930. It acts as a broker for fur pelts produced in Denmark and around the world, including fox, chinchilla and karakul, and brokered the sale of 24.8 million mink skins between 2018 and 2019.
Increased awareness about animal cruelty and the development of more sustainable fashion has led to a drop in demand for fur over the past years, leaving stockpiles left unsold at fur auctions and leading to a steep drop in pelt prices.
This week, Kopenhagen Fur announced plans to close its doors within the next three years following final fur auctions in 2021, 2022 and possibly 2023.
The move comes after the Danish government’s decision to cull millions of mink on its 1,000 mink fur farms due to rising coronavirus infections among the animals. Authorities expressed concerns that a mutation in the virus that has infected the mink could possibly interfere with the effectiveness of a vaccine for humans.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk expressed her delight about the closure of Kopenhagen Fur in a statement released on Friday, November 13, saying:
Virtual champagne corks are popping at PETA and all its affiliates over the news of the demise of Kopenhagen Fur, a business built on the suffering of caged animals denied a life and then killed for their fur.
Since the public and almost every designer around the globe now shuns fur, it’s not surprising that two of the world’s biggest fur companies — in Canada and Denmark — have collapsed. Fur is well and truly dead.
Humane Society International says the decision to close Kopenhagen Fur ‘could signal the beginning of the end for the global fur trade.’
Dr. Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe, commented:
Fur farms are not only the cause of immense and unnecessary animal suffering, but they are also ticking time bombs for deadly diseases, potential virus factories capable of churning out mutations of COVID-19 and even undermining medical progress towards reliable treatments.
Dr. Swabe noted a ‘significant drop in pelt prices’ which have sent the fur industry ‘into a global downward spiral’. She believes there will be an even further decrease in the ‘demand for frivolous fur’ as coronavirus affects factory fur farms around the world and forces governments to shut down operations.
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