By Ali Berman

Jean-Claude Van Damme teamed up with the Belgian animal protection organization GAIA to speak out against fur.

In the parking lot of Kinepolis Brussels you can see Van Damme on a billboard that could be for one of his films. The muscle clad actor isn’t holding a weapon though. He’s holding a skinned mink. The tagline says, “Coming this winter to a ll fur stores.”

This is Van Damme’s first anti-fur campaign. He is now the anti-fur ambassador for the organization. He said about the fur trade, “I fail to see what is attractive about walking around in an animal skin, I suspect the animals would agree with me.”

In Belgium, only mink are raised for fur. In Flanders, Belgium there are approximately 20 mink farms where 150,000 mink are killed annually. They are kept in tiny cages, driven mad from the boredom and bad conditions, and then after seven or eight months, they are gassed and skinned.

GAIA is hoping this campaign will get people to write to members of Parliament to ask them to have Belgium ban the practice of breeding animals for fur. Both England and Austria already have such a law in place. According to GAIA, 9 out of 10 Belgians also agree with the anti-fur message and favor the ban.


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