A Danish breeder-owned cooperative that sold 25 million mink hides last year, or 40% of the global total, is considering selling its brand and other assets after announcing that it would gradually shut down operations over the next 2-3 years. Kopenhagen Fur CEO Jesper Lauge Christensen told Reuters he had received expressions of interest from Chinese customers to take over the auction house’s brand, which he said could be valued at up to 1 billion Danish crowns ($163 million). It still plans to sell some 25 million pelts over the next two years, from Danish farms not infected by the virus, frozen stocks and foreign animals. Animal activists hope the Danish debacle, which has had political repercussions in the country, will finish off the fur industry and demand for items such as $1,700 fur trinkets, $16,000 fur vests and $60,000 fur coats will disappear. Countries and states which have already banned fur farms or fur products includes Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Norway, Israel and California. PJ Smith, director of fashion policy at Humane Society International, says that brands still using real fur will ditch it soon, following Gucci, Prada, Armani and others. But for now, Kopenhagen Fur’s Christensen said fashion brands in Europe had expressed concern they will not be able to find a similar quality to the Danish mink furs. “One of the biggest challenges from the brand perspective is that the unique Danish qualities will be disappearing from the collection and you cannot source that product elsewhere.” He said he was looking at selling warehouse facilities and equipment such as automated vision machinery to grade the skins. China, followed by Russia, is the biggest buyer of Danish fur as its own mink are considered of lower quality than those raised in Europe, where breeding standards are generally higher. “We wouldn’t choose Chinese-made fur due to its poor quality,” Zhang Changping, owner of China’s Fangtai Fur, told Reuters, adding that it had already bought enough fur at least for the first half of 2021. Fangtai would shift to auctions in Finland if Denmark failed to supply enough mink in the future, he said. Niccolò Ricci, chief executive of Italian luxury designer label Stefano Ricci which has many clients in Russia and eastern Europe, said he expected mink prices to increase by up to 50% but that high-end labels like his would continue to seek top quality pelts, mainly from U.S. suppliers.