Categories: fur trade

Wearing a lynx fur coat is “the pinnacle of trend-setting bravery”

The well-known department store Harvey Nichols in London described the wearing of a £68,000 lynx fur coat as “the pinnacle of trend-setting bravery”. This is 2019. When are traders and sellers of animal skins going to learn that this is a cruel and immoral business?

Kendall Jenner and her lynx fur coat (2016). This is not the coat for sale at Harvey Nichols.

They said that the coat would “inspire longing glances.. bathing the wearer in an aura of luxurious self-assurance”.

The problem was that the store could not confirm that the fur came from a legal source. Neither could the supplier, the Italian fur brand, Lilly e Violetta.

I’m not going to be politically correct and simply report the story. I will say right away that the fur trade should be entirely banned anywhere on the planet because it cannot be justified. However the fur trade is in rude health.

There are four subspecies of lynx wild cat: the Canada, Eurasian, Iberian lynx and the bobcat.

Today the elusive lynx is a protected species because it was hunted to near extinction. The Iberian subspecies is critically endangered and has been for many years. The Eurasian lynx is being reintroduced after being almost wiped out across Europe. The bobcat in America has been trapped and hunted extensively but trapping and hunting is now limited as I understand it in some states of America. The bobcat is making a fragile recovery in North America.

The Canada Lynx has an extensive range from Alaska via the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico. It’s fur, sadly, can be traded and sold in the UK but the exporter has to have a permit to import and export. Further they have to prove that the pelts came from captive animals raised on legal fur farms i.e. licensed.

The lynx fur coat advertised on the Harvey Nichols website was described as the “purest Montana lynx fur”. Lucy Bannerman of The Times newspaper suggest that this means that the fur came from a fur farm in Montana. The supplier could not confirm the source and was unable to provide evidence of a permit required by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Canada lynx

As a consequence, Harvey Nichols removed the coat from sale. They say that the supplier had signed a form promising to adhere to ethical sourcing principles. The department store confirmed that it would no longer be stocking any products by Lilly e Violetta. They said that no coat had been sold and no profits made.

It is believed that there are fewer than 250 lynx left in the wild in Montana. They are protected. There are fur farms in Montana which are undeniably cruel. The lynx can roam over 400 km² in the wild and yet they are kept in small cages on fur farms until slaughtered for their skins.

A Montana attorney, Matthew Bishop, believes that 99% of the public has no idea that lynx are being raised for fur. The industry keeps a low profile because they are aware that it is ugly and cruel.

It is interesting to note that the chief executive of the British Fur Trade Association, Mike Moser, said that he had never heard of lynx fur farms. He said that it is not a species suited to farming. He actually describes the cat as a ‘breed’ which is incorrect. This is not a breed of cat. That’s surprising as well. He claims that it is more ethical to trap wild lynx as long as the trappers acted “in harmony with the environment”. I would strongly disagree with him. It is time, as stated, for all trapping, shooting and hunting of wild cat species for their fur to be banned completely.

The lynx is threatened in Montana because of climate change, logging and past persecution of the animal. If one is trapped today, the trapper has to report it immediately. How many lynx are trapped accidentally on purpose and injured and therefore they have to be killed for their fur?

If a trapper accidentally traps a lynx there is an incentive to not report it and keep the animal because of its high value. It seems to me that the law which is intended to protect this animal in North America is not working satisfactorily.

Kendall Jenner wore a lynx fur coat in 2016 for the launch of her clothing line. The supplier Lilly e Violetta claims to be “committed to reliability based on transparency and trustworthiness and sustainability based on respect for people, the planet and animal welfare”. Are those hollow words? They declined to answer questions from The Times newspaper. And as mentioned cannot prove that their fur is legal. Not a good look.

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Canada Lynx

Canada Lynx Facts For Kids

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Mary, someone should shoot you and throw your worthless body in a dump. Fur is a natural, beautiful, warm, sustainable material unlike synthetic fibers.

  • Society should demand post birth abortion for the entire clan. They do this for attention as they have talent except in exposing their bodies in one fashion or another. Yet this trash family has a reality TV show that people watch. Oh and LMAO-

    The fur or hide taken from an animal for food is different than going out and killing one because you like the way it feels. There is a difference between necessity and vanity.

    raising wild animals in cages for the sole purpose of slaughtering them for their hide is deplorable. Foxes and several other animals are subjected to this and sadly many consumers can't make the connection as to why it's as wrong as simply going out and killing them. This is a moral issue. And I have learned that people either have them or don't. Leopards don't change their spots and sadly some people still want the real thing to drape over their bodies.
    Most of us in our 50s, 60s, 70s have grown up in a world where the culture has changed radically in all aspects up to and certainly including animal welfare. When I hear someone justify bad behavior because it's what they grew up with I want to slap them.

  • Any human who has the audacity to wear fur should be shot and pissed on! If they want to wear fur than wear human skin! It can be dyed and it can be stretched to any shape practically! humans are not an endangered species. These animals have every right to be free from humans greed and ignorance! Our species makes me sick!

  • Good call out on a filthy industry Michael.

    People who wear, buy or sell 'fashion' fur = ugly on the outside and on the inside.

    Lily e Violeta & Mike Moser both know that what they do is morally & ethically wrong. Weasel words, ignorance & cowardice give them away 100%

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