Investigation Finds Chinchillas Electrocuted, Rabbits’ Heads Hacked Off, and Animals Cowering in Fear

For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2019

Seoul — With the holiday shopping season underway, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has released its first-ever exposé of the Russian fur trade. Video footage shot by PETA investigators reveals that workers bashed rabbits with a metal pipe and hacked off their heads while they were still conscious, electrocuted chinchillas and snapped their necks, and subjected animals to other horrors on five farms. Russia is third in the world in terms of fur production, and when it comes to importing the material, South Korea is fourth.

PETA is calling on Lotte and other Korean retailers to join department stores such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as well as designers such as Giorgio Armani, Versace, Gucci, and Michael Kors in banning fur.

“Shoppers at Lotte should keep firmly in mind that behind every fur coat, collar, or cuff is a filthy wire cage, a shrieking animal, and a blood-soaked slaughterhouse floor,” says PETA Senior Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker. “This holiday season, PETA is urging everyone to help give some peace to these tormented animals by going fur-free.”

Some rabbits were still alive and twitching when a worker decapitated them, splashing the floor with their blood and tossing their heads into baskets full of others’ heads—all while other rabbits watched, trembling in terror. One worker failed to place the clamps on a chinchilla correctly before electrocution, and the animal shrieked, twitched, and convulsed for over a minute before finally becoming still. Then the worker snapped the animal’s neck.

Animals were kept in dirty wire-mesh cages. Some were exposed to the elements, while others were enclosed in dark rooms. Minks and sables paced incessantly—a sign of psychological distress—while a fox with nowhere to hide cowered in fear. One chinchilla appeared to be blind but was still forced to breed. And a worker explained that if the animals relieve themselves in the “wrong” part of the cage, they’re killed. “Any animal must be clean,” he said. “If you produce not clean skin, you’re losing a lot of price.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other animals are nothing more than commodities to use and kill at will.

Photographs and broadcast-quality video footage from the investigation is available upon request.

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