Brazil's Sao Paulo state bans rearing fur animals

Brazil's Sao Paulo state bans rearing fur animals

SAO PAULO - Chinchillas, mink and other fur animals can no longer be raised for their pelts under a new measure in the wealthy Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.

Animals bred for the fashion industry are highly stressed, mistreated and "kept in cages that are so small they cannot even move properly," the law says.

"All this cruelty makes fashion that uses animal fur immoral and unjustifiable."

According to the state government, Brazil is one of the biggest chinchilla producers in the world, behind Argentina.

The law aims to protect animals whose fur is used for coats and other fashion accessories, including rabbits, foxes, mink, badgers, seals, coyotes, squirrels and chinchillas.

Those violating the law will face fines exceeding 10,000 reais (S$5,300), an amount that doubles in the case of a second offence.

Each chinchilla pelt fetches about $60. A knee-length coat might require as many as 200 animals.

Fur farmers not surprisingly fought the new law. According to a report in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, one farmer has already begun killing 1,500 female chinchillas to stop them from reproducing.

"The law is going to be approved. For us, it's over," chinchilla growers' association chief Carlos Peres told the paper.

State Governor Geraldo Alckmin approved the bill Tuesday. It was published in the local official newspaper a day later.

In mid-October, a group of Animal Liberation Front activists broke into a Sao Paulo chinchilla farm and rescued about 100 of the creatures.

Activists in the state raided a pharmaceutical lab in October 2013, and rescued dogs being used in tests.

Animal testing for cosmetics, perfumes and personal hygiene products was banned here in January.

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