: Fur Farming

Luxembourg 10th European country to ban fur farming

LUXEMBOURG, 15 JUNE 2018 – This week, Luxembourg became the 10th European country to ban fur farming. A new progressive animal welfare law, that was proposed in 2016 by Minister of Agriculture Fernand Etgen, was passed that includes a prohibition on fur farming.

The animal welfare act will go into effect in October 2018. Since Luxembourg currently has no fur farming industry, the law will mainly prevent new mink farms to be built. All information about the new law can be found on the internet portal: https://deiereschutzgesetz.lu/.

The new welfare act is based upon the assumption that animals are “living non-human sentient beings with a nervous system scientifically capable of feeling pain and experiencing other emotions” including “suffering and anguish”.

In May 2016 the Minister of Agriculture of Luxembourg, Fernand Etgen, presented the new law designed ‘to ensure the dignity, the protection of life, safety and welfare of animals. Etgen said:

“Animal welfare legislation requires profound reform because of what scientific advances had revealed about animals, and because of changes in how animals are viewed by human society.”

mink farm

Source: Joanne McArthur/ We Animals

The Luxembourg Government Council, states:

“Animals are no longer considered as a thing, but as gifted non-human living beings with sensitivity and holders of certain rights.”

Luxembourg is the 10th European country that has decided the t outlaw the cruel practice of fur farming. Read more about fur bans.

 

Belgrade’s Make Fur History event counters fur trade’s propaganda

BELGRADE, 8 JUNE 2018 – Yesterday, the Make Fur History exhibition took place in the Serbian capital Belgrade and brought together international experts, lawmakers and media representatives to discuss the negative impact of fur farming. The exhibition, that was hosted by our local Serbian partner Sloboda za Zivotinje, exposed the scientific facts about the factory production of animal fur and stressed the urgency of maintaining the Serbian national ban on fur factory farms.

The timely exhibition follows just days after the Serbian parliament discussed a cancellation of the Serbian ban on fur farming during a “public session” on Tuesday, from which non-governmental organizations were entirely excluded. The ban was to go into full effect in 2019, after a 10-year phase-out period. However, blatant propaganda of the fur trade lobby, such as scandalous misinformation on animal welfare and fur farming legislation across Europe, has persuaded the Serbian government to consider withdrawing the 2009 law.

Maida Sabeta, campaign coordinator of the south-east European Fur Free Forever campaign, says:

“Chinchilla fur farming is a very small sector in Serbia, with sparse economic benefits and hardly any law enforcement. Maintaining this industry means supporting a gray economy or even black economy in Serbia.”

The event aimed to counter the false information spread by the fur trade by addressing animal ethics and welfare – in particular the welfare problems of chinchillas, the main species reared for fur in Serbia – the legislative progress in Europe and why the fur industry’s own welfare indicators, WelFur, are not in line with good animal welfare.

Along with local campaigners Mark Glover, board member of the Fur Free Alliance and Respect for Animals Campaign Director, took part in the roundtable panel:

“The arguments for Serbia to maintain its ban on chinchilla farming are overwhelming and the eyes of the world are now firmly focused on what happens next. It would be a tragedy if the bizarre campaign by the fur trade, based on insulting supporters of the ban, was to succeed. The Fur Free Alliance will do everything it can to ensure the ban comes into force next January 1.”

Prof. dr. Stevan Lilić, Professor of Law Faculty at the Belgrade University, stated:

“The issue of chinchilla fur farming is above all a moral issue. Serbian lawmakers are now pushing hard to overturn the law that was passed to ban this practice in 2009. Their motivation to cancelling the 2009 legislation is entirely unjustified.”

The Make Fur History exhibition was launched in the European Parliament in January this year and is meant to supply lawmakers with scientific evidence about the negative impact of fur farming on animals, the environment and local communities and the urgency for more national bans.

NGO’s denied access to Serbian public session on fur farming ban

BELGRADE, 4 JUNE 2018 – Fur industry groups have upped their lobbying of the Serbian government to debate a cancelation of the Serbian fur farming ban in a public session scheduled for tomorrow, June 5. Due to heavy pressure and a campaign of misinformation of the fur lobby, the fur farming ban – that should go into effect in 2019 – is now at a severe risk. By denying all animal protection organisations access to the public session, the Serbian government is shockingly undermining the principles of democracy.

With a 10-year phase-out period, Serbian fur farmers have been given the opportunity to transition to a more economically stable and sustainable industry. With less than one year left before the transitional period runs out, any change to the previously agreed upon legislation would raise serious questions regarding the Serbian legislative process.

The Fur Free Alliance urges the Serbian government to stay true to its legislative commitment to ban the farming of animals for their fur, and save sentient beings from a cruel life and death. Read our full letter to the Serbian government.

Chinchillas are they only animals kept for fur in Serbia. The intense battery cage system used on fur farms deprives chinchillas from the opportunity to express their natural behaviour – such as running and jumping – and causes severe welfare problems. International studies have shown behavioral disorders, such as stereotypies, pelt-biting and infant mortality, are highly common on chinchilla fur farms. Learn more about welfare problems on chinchilla fur farms.

The public session about the fur farming ban is scheduled just two days prior to the Make Fur History expo, that will take place in Belgrade on Thursday, June 7. The exhibition – that was launched in the European Parliament on January 23 and is now touring Europe – invites lawmakers and stakeholders to discuss the negative impact of fur farming on animals, the environment and local communities and shows the urgency for more national bans.

 

Protesters in Bulgaria march against fur farming

SOFIA, 24 May 2018 – Hundreds of Bulgarians gathered in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, on May 12th to make a public statement against fur farming. The protest march in Sofia, organised by Bulgarian Fur Free Alliance member CAAI, is part of the regional Fur Free Forever campaign that unites South East European countries – as Serbia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Montenegro – in their fight to end the cruel fur industry.

The Fur Free Forever campaign addresses the extreme animal suffering in the fur industry and the negative impact of fur farming on the environment and local communities. With an increased number of western European countries closing down its fur farms, the Fur Free Forever campaign gives voice to South East European citizens calling to ban the cruel and polluting fur industry in this part of Europe as well.

In March this year, a National Citizens’ Initiative campaign was launched to ban fur farming in Bulgaria. To gather enough signatures, in the months leading up to June, which marks the end of the Citizen’s Initiative campaign, several events are organised in Bulgaria, such as the Make Fur History exhibition and the Fur Free Forever regional march.

 

 

Greek Ministry of Culture: Fur is not Cultural Heritage

GREECE, 18 MAY 2018 – The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports has rejected a proposal of the Greek fur industry to include fur production in Greece’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The submission by the Hellenic Fur Federation was dismissed unanimously by the ministry’s Directorate of Modern Cultural Assets and Intangible Cultural Heritage, stating that fur production is not in line with UNESCO’s sustainable development goals and has an exclusively commercial objective:

“This activity, which is based on the killing of animals exclusively for the exploitation of their fur, is not compatible with sustainable development, which is a necessary requirement for a practice to be considered within the scope of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO (2003).”

In 2016, the Hellenic Fur Federation submitted the proposal to include fur production in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage with a view to applying for UNESCO “intangible heritage” status, which, if approved, would result in the unjust promotion and protection of fur production as a heritage craft.

The dismissal follows another rejection of a cunning fur lobby strategy that was introduced recently in Kastoria – the center of the Greek fur industry – a school program entitled “Fur: Environment and Culture”. The program, that was introduced by the Regional Directorate of Primary Education in Kastoria, was quickly inactivated by the Greek Ministry of Education.

Despite the rejection of the industry’s claim that fur production is cultural heritage, teachers and MP’s in Kastoria continue to blatantly and indefensibly present the fur industry as a cultural asset and an example of ‘sustainable development’. Furthermore, the Hellenic Fur Federation wrongfully presents the local fur industry as an invaluable economical sector for the region. On the contrary, the Russian demand for Kastorian fur, which is the largest market for Kastorian fur exporters, has plummeted in recent years, causing high unemployment numbers.  The fact is that the fur industry is an economically, highly unstable industry that is banned in more and more countries worldwide.

Dutch bank Rabobank cuts ties with fur industry

11 MAY 2018 – The Dutch bank Rabobank, a global leader in agriculture financing, has announced to end its facilitation of the fur industry. The move is part of a new sustainability framework policy that was published last week and sets out the bank’s renewed standards on livestock farming and animal welfare issues.

Cutting ties with the fur industry is entirely consistent with a bank that is headquartered in The Netherlands – a country that has banned and is currently phasing out fur farming – and the global shift away from the cruel and polluting practice of fur farming.

The new sustainability policy lists the fur industry as an excluded sector that does not ‘fit into the Rabobank’s profile’ and explicitly states the bank is now precluded from: “Taking on new clients involved in fur industries, or expanding existing relationships with clients involved in fur activities”. By adopting this policy now, the bank will also be able to refuse financing Dutch fur farmers seeking to expand or move their activities to other countries.

Furthermore, the document lists angora wool and traditional foie gras production as excluded activities and makes a number of forward-thinking animal welfare commitments, particularly with regard to cage-free production for laying hens and pigs. Read the Rabobank’s full Sustainability Framework Policy.

With the decision to drop its support for the fur industry the Rabobank follows in the footsteps of Dutch banks ING and ABN AMRO, which adopted a similar policy. However, since the Rabobank is the main financier of the Dutch fur farms this announcement is a serious setback for the industry.