By: Staff  Date: 01/15/2012 Category: | Farm and Ranch Almanac |

Fur sales continue climb

Fur sales were up five percent in the winter of 1996, according to a report from Southwick Associates and the Fur Information Council of America. Sales in fur garments rose by a half billion dollars, from $1.2 billion to $1.25 billion.

Fur sales rely mainly on two factors, the industry press release said: cold weather and a healthy economy. However, it is also dependent on fashion, and fur is back in fashion.

"The furriers we interviewed reported that consumer interest in fur had definitely increased this year," said Robert Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. The study is a compilation of information from 200 randomly selected fur retailers across the US.

"More designers than ever before are including fur in their collections, and models are proudly wearing fur again," said Carol Wynne, executive director of FICA. "Fashion editors are reporting on the trend, and as a result the fur coat has come to represent the epitome of the fashion world's return to elegance and independent thinking."

The number of designers working in fur has grown to 150, and models like Naomi Campbell have turned their backs on animal rights groups like People for the Ethical treatment of Animals, according to the report.

The 1997 fur collections will be shown during the FICA Fur Fashion Week in New York City, May 19-22. Collections include the work of Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Feraud, Valentino, and others.

Furs have already held center stage in Paris, France, with a quiet show in the Right Bank salon of the House of Revillon in mid-March. An anti-fur lobbyist was thrown out of the Karl Lagerfeld show the day before, but the Revillon show went off without a hitch.

PeTA spokesmen challenged the industry report, saying that "It's absolutely false as far as fur sales being up. You can tell not only by fur sales, but the number of mink farms is down by half and the number of fox farms is down by two-thirds in this country."

PFW lauds court decision in Endangered Species Act

The March decision by the US Supreme Court that granted landowners standing to challenge the Endangered Species Act is "great news for property owners, ranchers, timber workers, miners, and all land users. . . . this is a victory for grassroots and a solid defeat for green extremists," according to People for the West executive director Jeffrey Harris.

The decision came in Bennett vs Spear, a case filed when the US Fish and Wildlife Service cut off water to ranchers in southern Oregon to protect two kinds of sucker fish. The action cause losses estimated at $75 million, and the ranchers sued.

The first decisions went against the suit when courts ruled that only those parties suing on behalf of endangered species could bring action under the legal provisions of the ESA.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court decisions. In the Court's opinion, Judge Antonin Scalia wrote, "The Endangered Species Act is a double-edged sword that can be used to fight for less, not just more federal protection of animals and plants." Scalia also said that the ESA does not exist for environmentalists alone but for all persons with an interest in the environment.

The FWS responded to the Supreme Court decision with a statement from John Leshy, an attorney for the US Department of the Interior.

Calling the arguments in the case "highly technical," Leshy said that the department "sought to uphold the lower court's decision dismissing this particular lawsuit because we believed the plaintiff water districts had not followed the correct legal path to the courthouse. Although the Court's decision today rejected our technical legal arguments, it reaffirmed that the courthouse doors are open to all affected interests to review our implementation of the Act - an outcome with which, broadly speaking, we agree."

Leshy said that he did not anticipate that the decision will affect the agency's administration of the ESA.

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All Authors Of This Article: | Norma Bennett Woolf |
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