An animal rights activist friend of mine recently went on a rant about how fur should be illegal.

One of her main arguments was that all animals suffered greatly during the fur removing process as they were not killed before this process.

Some animal right activist websites do show some (shocking) videos on live animals whose skin is being removed. At the same time, the Wikipedia article on fur clothing and its processing mentions the use of chemicals, which I suppose cannot be done on live animals.

My question is the following:

Are most animals being skinned alive or dead during the process?

  • 4
    There was a big scandal in the 80's with an animal rights group staging a video of animal abuse for use in their propaganda. I would be surprised to find that any fur manufacturer today would use skin taken from live animals. The industry has learned from the PR mistakes of the past and keeps pretty tight controls on their producers.
    – Chad
    Oct 31, 2011 at 13:57
  • 1
    ARA's try to paint the worst picture possible to support their agenda, good propaganda but highly suspect to be true. If it was true they would have leaked some video to support a widespread "most" practice of "live" skinning.
    – Moab
    Oct 31, 2011 at 19:50
  • All those awful videos of baby seals being clubbed make explicit reference to the fact that the seals are killed at that time. The baby seals are killed for the sole purpose of being used for fur, which indicates that they are not skinned for fur while alive. Nov 23, 2012 at 23:31
  • 2
    More to the point, no matter how hard you try to immobilize it, any animal will be trying to wriggle free and escape when someone's slicing its skin off, which sounds to me like it'd play merry hell with efficiency... Mar 5, 2013 at 8:15
  • 2
    I honestly can't see what would be the point of flaying an animal alive.
    – Benjol
    Mar 5, 2013 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


It seems a strange thing to do - if concious, the animal might move, and even if unconscious there is likely to be a lot of blood.

This Chinese press notice from 2006 says

A probe into the skinning of raccoons alive found that the practice was not widespread. Zhuo acknowledged, "Initial investigations found (skinning a live animal) is bad for fur quality and also decreases production efficiency, so it is by no means the commonly accepted practice."

To me that suggests (for raccoons at least) that it was uncommon but not unknown.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .