Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme is going after the fur industry in a shocking new ad that's as brutal as it is commendable.


Made in partnership with Belgian animal protection organization GAIA (Global Action in the Interest of Animals), the spot features Van Damme holding a skinned mink with the words "Coming This Winter To All Fur Stores: The Victims." It's featured prominently as a massive billboard in downtown Brussels and will tour an additional seven Belgian cities throughout the month of October. 


"I fail to see what is attractive about walking around in an animal skin; I suspect the animals would agree with me." Van Damme, who has become the organization's newly appointed anti-fur ambassador, said in a statement. 


Belgium has 20 mink farms and kills roughly more than 15,000 animals each year. Conditions are terrible, with each mink confined to a small wire cage approximately 80 by 30 by 30 centimeters for seven to eight months. According to a 2009 poll, nine out of 10 Belgians agree with a ban on the cruel industry. 


"The Victims" is a cry from the heart against the fur trade, based on the suffering and unnecessary death of millions of animals," said the president of GAIA, Michel Vandenbosch. 


To see the full ad, jump here

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Jean-Claude Van Damme fights fur industry
Actor partners with Belgian animal protection organization GAIA on new ad campaign.