Successful launch of biggest anti-fur campaign ever in China

ACTAsia for Animals has taken the lead in the biggest public awareness campaign ever to counter the booming and bloody fur industry in China. Over fifty Chinese animal welfare groups, all provided with our campaign pack, have joined and are supporting our NO Fur China campaign. Different groups are conducting demonstrations and events throughout the country. Besides offline activities, we are focusing on an online public appeal in collaboration with Sohu.com, an equivalent to Yahoo. A special website is being created with information for consumers and activists. More than one hundred Chinese celebrities are supporting the campaign by posting anti-fur statements.
Over fifty million rabbits, raccoons, mink and foxes are kept in dreadful conditions in Chinese fur farms, with no animal welfare legislation in place to ensure their basic needs. They are brutally killed and often skinned whilst still alive. China has become a major producer and consumer of fur, which is most often bought by the younger generation. Items include coats, hats, cushions, bedcovers and other accessories made from pelts. The majority of buyers is unaware of the terrible cruelty involved in raising and killing animals for their fur. This shows that our public awareness campaign is desperately needed to stop the huge and growing fur industry in China.

The NO Fur China campaign kicked off on the 1st of December, and the response and exposure have been overwhelming so far. To list some of the activities and achievements:

 

 

Press conference – we held a press conference in Shenzhen to launch the campaign. Attracted by the issue and the Chinese celebrities who are supporting the campaign, thirty five journalists came to cover the conference, either real-time, with instant messaging on the ‘micro blog live show’ through Sohu.com, or reporting in (online) newspapers afterwards.

Campaign pack – we compiled a comprehensive campaign pack which contains a campaign poster, information on the fur trade, consumer information, an individual action page, leaflets and stickers. The materials will help local groups in different parts of China to launch a fur campaign in their own area. We distributed over 20,000 leaflets and 2,000 posters in three weeks.

Social media – we are collaborating with Sohu.com, which is one of the main search engines in China. Sohu.com runs a micro blog site (similar in function to twitter) and has created a special web page for our campaign http://t.sohu.com/huati/1971. On this page various educational resources for the public and animal activists can be found. Sohu has also posted our banner on their homepage, and the NO Fur China campaign was listed as one of the top ten hottest topics of the year.

Award for body art performance – Our team and local volunteers, together with two local animal groups, participated in the Shenzhen Fringe Festival. We performed on stage and in the streets to demonstrate the miserable lives of animals in fur farms and the way their fur is brutally taken from them. We also joined the parade with anti-fur placards. Thousands of people saw the performances and parade. Our anti-fur performance also received the Best Performance Award by the festival organisers, and was reported by the media the following day.

Support from celebrities – Over one hundred Chinese celebrities, including famous movie stars, TV stars, singers, film directors, media columnists and athletes, provided statements against the fur trade, which we re-posted on our micro blog pages. Various celebrities attended the press conference, which was hosted by famous tv presenter Tian Na.

Spreading the word nationwide Following our call to mobilise the NO Fur campaign in China, universities and animal groups from different parts of China have started conducting awareness activities:

Dalian – Very active group Pet100 has already held five awareness events at universities in Dalian and Liaoning (Northeast China). They spoke to students, handed out 7,000 leaflets and collected 1,300 pledges against the use of fur. Beijing – The student club of Beijing University of Chemical Technology held a two-day awareness event to inform their peers on the cruelty involved in the fur industry. They used our campaign pack, but paid for printing the educational materials themselves.

 

Shandong – At Shandong university (East China), one of the largest universities in China with 57,000 students, another two days event was held. The majority of the students and lecturers who read the information placards, responded that they were not aware of cruelty involved in the fur industry and signed up against fur very willingly. Xiamen – Although Xiamen city is generally warm throughout the year, the purchase of fur products is on the rise, because of higher living standards and economic growth. Xiamen Animal Protection Educational Society hosted an awareness event to counter that development.

Many more campaign activities will be taking place until the beginning of Chinese New Year, at the end of January 2012. Sign up to our Facebook page to stay updated on our campaign.

Without your support and donations we will not be able to make this campaign happen in China. With special thanks to World Wide Animal Rescue for the support of printing materials and Respect for Animals and Fur Free Alliance for their information and videos on the issue.