- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Footage taken at fur farm in Asia shows thousands of dead foxes and raccoon dogs piled in a heap
- Animals are beaten over the head with a metal bar and skinned, some still alive, before being tossed in a pile
- TV presenter Chris Packham described the footage taken by HSI investigators as 'like a scene from hell'
Harrowing footage taken from inside a fur farm in Asia reveals how foxes and raccoon dogs are beaten with a metal bar and some of them are skinned alive in what has been described as 'like a scene from hell'.
Thousands of dead foxes were tossed into piles after they were clubbed to death and skinned for their fur, aerial footage captured by investigators from animal rights charity Humane Society International has revealed.
The fur is then fashioned into expensive high street coats and exported to other countries.
Investigators for Humane Society International filmed at eleven randomly selected fur farms in one of the top countries in Asia exporting fur to the United Kingdom.
The charity has not revealed the exact location of the fur farm for safety reasons.
The foxes are kept outside in rows of cages covered in faeces and so small that most of the animals can move only a few inches.
The foxes' water bowls were often left empty, according to HSI investigators.
Some of the animals were exhibiting repetitive stereotypical behaviour typical of mental decline including swaying and repetitively pacing.
When the foxes are a year old, they are repeatedly hit over the head with a metal bar to kill them, which according to Humane Society International causes immense pain and injury but not instant death.
Their winter coats are then stripped from them.
Some of the foxes were cut and skinned while still alive and clearly moving, HSI investigators claimed.
One of the team described the scene is a 'mountain of dead bodies'.
'I've never seen so much death in one place. It really shocked me and I had to steady myself to keep filming,' they said.
TV wildlife presenter and campaigner Chris Packham, who viewed HSI's video, said: 'I am astonished at the depravity of the fur trade. This investigation is like a scene from hell and anyone who knowingly wears fur should not turn away from watching it.
'Aside from the unbelievable cruelty of their deaths, these foxes and raccoon dogs will have endured utterly miserable lives.'
Commenting on the footage, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Luke Pollard MP said: 'The animal suffering revealed in HSI's investigation is truly sickening.
'This outdated and unnecessary trade should have no place in the UK's fashion industry.'
Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2003. Millions of pounds of fur is still imported into the UK every year from countries including Finland, Italy, Poland, China, Hong Kong, India and Thailand.
Humane Society International is calling for a blanket ban on fur sales in the UK.
No country has banned the sale of fur completely. In 2019, California became the first US state to ban fur sales following similar bans in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood.