Donations to support injured and orphaned wildlife
Washington, D.C., March 2, 2017 -- Today, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, announced the completion of its third annual Born Free USA Fur for the Animals campaign. The four-month donation drive collected 1,615 fur items from around the world to distribute to U.S. wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries, where they will be used to bring familiar warmth, comfort, and enrichment to orphaned, injured, and rescued wildlife.
The number of fur donations quadrupled from last year’s total. This year’s donations are valued at an estimated $3.7 million and represent approximately 53,000 animals who died for these products. While donations included the more common mink, rabbit, and fox coats and accessories, Born Free USA also received several vintage items made from imperiled and threatened species. Such items include a coat, hat, and muff made from Geoffroy’s cat (a small wild cat species found in South America), two Canada lynx pelts tagged by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and one CITES-tagged gray wolf pelt. Other noteworthy items include coats made from bobcat, otter, seal, and beaver.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “We are proud of the success of the Fur for the Animals initiative. Hundreds of items arrived at our office each week, and it is clear that this campaign is fulfilling an important need as the public becomes increasingly aware that any fur items are the result of misery and cruel death for millions of animals. Fur for the Animals allows people to give up their fur in a profound and satisfying way, repurposing these garments with positive effect: for animals.”
“All of the items are going to wildlife rehabilitation centers or sanctuaries, but Born Free USA—in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—will keep the vintage imperiled species items in order to raise awareness about the destructive and despicable international wildlife trade. Some of these species partially owe their vulnerable status to the demand for their parts and commercial products made from them,” Roberts explains.
Born Free USA is sending fur to wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country, including the following campaign partners:
- Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, Locust Grove, Georgia
- Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Kendalia, Texas
- The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, Ramona, California
- Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc., Lake Cormorant, Mississippi
- Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc., Westcliffe, Colorado
- Thunder Eagle Wildlife, McKenney, Virginia
Born Free USA commends the growing number of fashion retailers vowing to go fur free. In March 2016, the luxury brand Giorgio Armani announced it will remove real animal fur from its collections beginning with its Fall/Winter 2016 line. Armani is joining such brands as Hugo Boss, American Apparel, Esprit, H&M, Steve Madden, Marks & Spencer, and Topshop, among others that have pledged to produce only fur free merchandise.
Born Free USA is a member of the Fur Free Alliance: an international coalition of animal protection organizations working to bring an end to the exploitation and killing of animals for their fur. The Fur Free Alliance represents more than 40 animal protection organizations in 28 countries and millions of supporters worldwide.
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.