Practical Issues > Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping - Index > Trapping

Fur Free Activist Guide

It takes 40 animals to make a fur coat, but only one person to make a difference. Here are some easy ways to stop the suffering of animals.

Check Out Department Stores

Department stores are the largest retail outlets for fur apparel. Many sell fur, especially fur-trimmed items, in the same departments as synthetic fur. We believe most customers would prefer to purchase faux fur over animal fur, but sometimes they just don't know if that bit of "fur" trim is real or not. It simply isn't labeled. And with today's technology, synthetic fur looks and feels surprisingly real.

Visit your local department stores and see what kind of "fur" products they are selling, how they are labeled, and what the salespeople know about their products. Voice your objections to the sales clerk or store manager.

Alert shoppers to the fact that the stores at which they shop may be contributing to the suffering of animals. Pass out brochures describing the inherent cruelty of the fur industry. Contact The HSUS for free brochures or download the PDF.

Ask Questions

Ask your friends and family what they know about the furry trim on their jacket. Is it real or fake? Do they even know? Many people assume that if they didn't pay hundreds of dollars for the coat, the trim must be synthetic. This is not always true. They may have purchased animal fur without even knowing it.

Did you see fur-like apparel on a TV show or in a movie? Wondering if it is real or fake? Contact the studio to find out. Let it know viewers are monitoring the use of animal fur. Ask that a disclaimer be added to the credits stating that only synthetic fur was used.

Let us know about it, too. The HSUS will contact the studio as well, and we'll alert other activists.

Support Anti-Trapping Legislation

Ask your Senators and Representative to co-sponsor legislation banning the steel-jaw leghold trap in the United States and to ban commercial and recreational trapping on National Wildlife Refuges and other public lands.

Learn the current status of anti-trapping and other fur-related legislation by visiting The HSUS Government Affairs Section.

Celebrate Fur Free Holidays in Your Own Community

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the largest shopping days of the year. This is a perfect opportunity to urge consumers not to buy fur products.

Wish your neighbors a Fur Free Holiday with a festive yard sign. November is an ideal time to convert political candidates' yard signs into a seasonal greeting of compassion and goodwill toward all. Just tack an anti-fur poster over the sign.

Santa is everywhere during the holiday season. Find out from the management or organizer who supplies the Santas to your local mall and for special holiday events. Ask the supplier to declare their Santas fur free. (Most of the Santa suits are synthetic.)

Dress up in a Santa suit and pass out fur free holiday information and buttons to holiday shoppers.

Ask the organizers of your local holiday parades, Christmas-tree lightings, plays, and other seasonal events to declare the events fur free. Ask them to put a fur free statement in the event program. ("The Central High School Drama Club is celebrating a Fur Free Holiday. All of the furs used in this production are synthetic.")

Speak Out

Feel tongue-tied when it comes to vocalizing your concerns about the cruelty in the fur industry? The HSUS has made activism easier with I'm not a coat anti-fur cards that you can distribute to (fur-clad) members of the public. The cards put a spotlight on the sheer number of animals killed for each coat, while reminding people of a fur coat's original owner. To order a supply of FREE cards to promote compassion in the fashion industry, send your mailing address to

Contact your local radio station and ask to be invited as a guest on the local talk or community service show. Urge listeners to have a Fur Free Holiday and a fur free millennium.

Write Letters

Compose and send letters and opinion editorials for your local paper asking your neighbors to celebrate compassionately this holiday and to be fur free in the new century. And write to them when you read fur fashion articles or see fur advertisements, too.

Stick 'Em Up

Put Fur Free stickers on all your mail -- each envelope passes through many hands before it gets to its final destination. Or post a Fur Free billboard in your community. The HSUS will supply the billboard; all you have to do is cover the cost of having it posted. Contact us for more information.

Involve Your Community

Team up with local wildlife rehabilitators to collect old fur garments. Many people have unwanted fur coats, hats, wraps, etc. Offer them the opportunity to donate the fur to use as bedding to comfort orphaned and injured wildlife. (If you don't know a rehabilitator in your area, inquire with your local humane society, animal control agency, or veterinarian.)

Give copies of The HSUS's Trapping Case Report form to your local veterinarians and animal shelters. Ask them to keep it on file in the event that a trapping victim is brought to them. The information we collect from these forms helps us to enact bans on cruel and indiscriminate traps.

Publicize Your Efforts

Don't forget to draw attention to all of your events and activities. Send out press releases and follow up with phone calls. Ask local media outlets to give you public service time to announce your events.

Flash the FF Necklace

Make a fur-free fashion statement by wearing the new FF necklace. When someone asks what "FF" stands for, you can explain why you are fur free. You can order one here.

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