: Animal ethics

Make Fur History exhibition on tour in Bulgaria

SOFIA, 2 FEBRUARY 2018 – On 27 January, international experts and scientific scholars gathered in the capital of Bulgaria to discuss the negative impact of fur factory farming. The conference, hosted by Bulgarian Fur Free Alliance member CAAI, was part of the Make Fur History exhibition that was launched last week in Brussels and is now touring throughout Europe.

Next to the ethical concerns and animal welfare problems associated with fur farming, speakers addressed the detrimental effects of fur farms on the environment, biodiversity, and local communities. The conference, that was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Bulgarian Academy of Science and local environmental organisations, aimed to expose facts about how real fur is produced and why a fur farming ban is needed in Bulgaria.

Read more about the Make Fur History exhibition:
Make Fur History – A Landmark Exhibition at the European Parliament
Polish MEPs in Brussels speak out against fur farming
Make Fur History website

Polish MEPs speak out against fur farming in Brussels

BRUSSELS, 26 JANUARY 2018 – This week, Polish members of the European Parliament spoke out against fur farming during the well attended opening of the Make Fur History exhibition in Brussels. The event was an initiative of the Polish members of the ECR Group, co-organised by the Fur Free Alliance and Eurogroup for Animals, to show their support for fur farming bans in Poland and the in rest of the EU.

Poland is currently one of the largest fur producers in Europe. However, the anti-fur movement has increasingly been attracting a lot of attention following the footsteps of various other European countries. A recently proposed bill could make Poland the 14th European nation to turn its back on the extreme animal suffering on fur farms.

Jadwiga Wisniewska, MEP of the ECR Group and co-chair of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, said:

“There is no price that could justify the suffering of animals that are bred in these horrid conditions and killed with exceptional cruelty so that their fur is left undamaged. The exhibition is an opportunity to learn more about the large-scale damage of the fur industry on the environment, the public opinion about fur, and the impact on biodiversity and environmental degradation.”

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Polish Law and Justice Party – currently the largest governing party in the Polish parliament – expressed his support for fur farming bans in a video statement that was screened during the opening:

The three day Make Fur History exhibition aimed to build awareness among EU decision makers of the cruelty associated with fur production and the need for more national bans on fur factory farming. Visitors are confronted with facts on fur production, compelling photography and a virtual reality experience of the conditions on fur farms.

The opening was followed by a roundtable discussion – with MEPs, decision makers and civil society – and a cocktail reception. View the full program and the event poster.

Prof. Zdzislaw Krasnodebski, MEP of the ECR Group, said:

“This is a fundamental issue, concerned with cruelty against animals and protection of the environment. You cannot say that these are rightwing or leftwing issues or conservative in nature. These are cross-cutting issues, that cut right across the political spectrum. We have to deal with these problems together.

We do not want to turn animals into objects. It is not a semi-object or a by-product that we can deal with in the way we have seen in the exhibition. Hopefully we will not be seeing animals being bred for fur in the future at all.”

Watch the full roundtable discussion here:

Mark Glover, Director of Respect for Animals in the UK, adds:

“I can assure you that the Fur Free Alliance and Eurogroup for Animals are united in this. We are absolutely committed to seeing this campaign through. And as you have seen the exhibition is already attracting huge amounts of interest; here in Brussels, in Poland and around the European Union. This will be seen as a landmark in the campaign to bring this morally bankrupt industry to an end.”

Read more at: www.makefurhistory.eu.

International seminar in Sarajevo on the impact of fur farming

Last Thursday international experts gathered in Sarajevo to discuss the negative impact of fur farming on animal welfare and the environment. The event, organised by the Fur Free Alliance in collaboration with the Anti-Fur Coalition Bosnia and Herzegovina, addressed the problems associated with any extension of the phase-out period of the Bosnian fur farming ban.

The seminar was attended by various stakeholders in the fields of veterinary science, environmental protection, agriculture and politics. Representatives of the social democratic party Democratic Front and the Bosnian Aarhus Center and Friends of the Earth expressed their intention to actively support a swift implementation of the Bosnian fur farming ban.

Invitation Sarajevo Seminar

In 2009 the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for a law to prohibit fur farming after a 9-year phase-out period. Earlier this year, one year before the ban would take effect, a law amendment was proposed that would extend the ban for another 10 years. Organisations worldwide have since urged Bosnia and Herzegovina to stay committed to the 2009 Act and make an end to the cruel practice of fur farming in 2018.

Pawel Rawicki, a representative of the Polish organization Otwarte Klatki, discussed the negative impact of fur farming on local nature, communities and economy. Between 2012 and 2017 nearly 100 protests of local residents were held in Poland to prevent the building or expansion of fur farms. A severe concern for local residents is the heavy odor of fur farms that can be smelled up to 6 kilometers away. Fly nuisance in neighboring buildings is another major complaint of local communities. The Polish case, Rawicki stresses, presents a grim warning to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

‘Local industries and real estate value suffer from the presence of large fur factory farms, which are most often owned by foreign investors in Poland (…) The fur industry exploits weak economies in eastern European countries.


Speakers from the UK, Croatia en Germany discussed how the inherent cruelty of fur farming – as a result of the confinement of active carnivores in small wire mesh cages – has led their governments to decide to end fur farming. The serious animal welfare problems and the ethical concerns of society are causing an increasing number of European governments to ban fur farming in recent years.

Czech fur farming ban signed by President Zeman

5 AUGUST 2017, PRAGUE – On August 1, the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman, signed the amendment of the animal protection law that will make an end to fur farming. The ban on fur farming has now been adopted definitely, and will become effective on the first day of the second calendar month following its publication.

Wild foxes

The amendment bans fur farming in the Czech Republic as of the 31st of January 2019 and will provide compensation to farmers to support their long-term obligations. Despite the heavy debate in both the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, the amendment was adopted nearly unanimously – 132 votes in favor and 9 against in the Chamber of Deputies in June and 39 votes in favor and 3 against by the Senate in July. In both cases, amendment proposals were rejected that suggested the adoption of WelFur certificates, an extension of the transition period or increasing the compensations provided to farmers.

Ms. Lucie Hemrová of Svoboda zvířat (Freedom for Animals):

“We would like to thank the Czech legislator for having lent an ear to the voice of the public, who sees killing of animals for purposes of fashion as an unethical relic of the past. This is a true milestone in the history of protection of animals, a victory of compassion towards other living creatures, who feel pain and who suffer. We are thrilled with the news!”

Nine farms in the Czech Republic, keeping approximately 20 000 mink and foxes in total, will be affected by the ban. Animals on fur farms are kept in poor conditions and killed cruelly by electrocution or suffocation by exhaust gas. Moreover, the adoption of the amendment banning fur farming is in line with public opinion – according to an opinion poll carried out in the spring this year by the Focus agency, 83 % of Czechs are in favour of the ban of fur farming.

Advertising Standards Authority reprimands “animal-friendly fur” labels

30 JULY 2017, THE NETHERLANDS – Last week the Dutch Advertising Standards Authority forced the fur brand Airforce to remove false animal-friendly claims from their labels. The company was selling jackets with raccoon dog fur trims labelled as ‘ethical’ and ‘responsible’.

Raccoon dogs are farmed in China in atrocious conditions with hardly any inspections taking place. The Chinese region Tongxiang, where Airforce sources its fur, is known for the severe abuse revealed on fur farms by undercover investigations.

Raccoon dogs fur farm

Dennis van den Hoorn, CEO of Airforce, says the decision is ridiculous: “My company shows that we are buying responsible Chinese fur”. However, Van den Hoorn says he does not have any prove that there isn’t abuse taking place on the farms:

“Of course our animals aren’t tickled to death, that is clear. But well, I am not present the moment when they are skinned.”

Nicole van Gemert, director of Dutch Fur Free Alliance member Bont voor Dieren – the organisation that the filed the complaint about the misleading labels – is glad with the decision:

“The labels used by Airforce to sell their fur trimmed jackets were misleading consumers into thinking fur is animal-friendly.”






Czech ban on fur farming approved by senate

22 JULY 2017, PRAGUE – Thursday the Czech Senate voted with an overwhelming majority for a law that prohibits fur farming. The vote is a historic victory for animal rights and will spare thousands of animals from a miserable life in a cramped battery cage on a fur farm.

Over 80 percent of Czechs support the ban on fur farming as opinion polls suggest. The law to prohibit fur farms will take effect in January 2019. According to the bill the owners of fur farms will be able to claim compensation from the state.

With 39 votes in favor – and only 3 against – the senate supported the bill with an immense majority. Lucie Moravcová from Svoboda zvířat says:

“This law will save 20,000 innocent animals per year from cruel deaths and very poor living conditions on fur farms. We think that this industry does not belong in civilized society and we are very grateful to our legislators that they understood what was at stake and supported this bill. We consider this a historic success in animal protection in the Czech Republic and we are very happy that our country will join other European states which have already banned this cruel practice.”

Czech bans fur farming

The Czech Republic has joined 12 European countries that have already passed bans or have implemented stricter regulations that results in the phasing out of fur farming.