: Fur Farming

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.

Make Fur History – A landmark exhibition at the European Parliament

Brussels, 23 January 2018 – At a major exhibition in the European Parliament, which will be held from 23 to 25 January, the Fur Free Alliance and Eurogroup for Animals will expose the facts about how real fur is produced, and why more national bans on fur factory farming are needed in the EU.

This is a timely exhibition. It follows hot on the heels of major fashion houses, such as Gucci and Michael Kors, announcing fur free policies and Norway’s recent announcement that it will phase-out fur farming by 2025. The tide is turning against fur farming in Europe, as concerns about animal welfare, the impacts on biodiversity and the environment, and the ethics of fur continues to grow.

During the exhibition entitled ‘Make Fur History’, MEPs will be called on to support fur farming bans in EU Member States where fur production is still permitted, and to sign a Fur Free Pledge. Various countries in Europe have already introduced fur farming bans (the United Kingdom, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, and the Republic of Macedonia) and/or are presently phasing-out fur farming (the Netherlands, Czechia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Norway). There are still significant animal welfare problems and ethical concerns associated with fur farming, so further action is still needed.

The three day exhibition confronts visitors with a series of striking photographs and allows them to immerse themselves into the shocking reality of the fur farming industry through a virtual reality experience.

Mark Glover, Vice-chairman of the Fur Free Alliance says:

‘‘Opinion polls from a number of European countries have consistently demonstrated that the majority of citizens consider breeding animals for fur unacceptable. This exhibition allows us to reveal the reality on European fur farms, to present the facts about the animals bred and killed for their fur and to show why the fur industry belongs in the past. Although fur farming bans are becoming increasingly widespread, further action is needed.’’

The official opening of the exhibition will take place on 23 January followed by a roundtable discussion with MEPs, decision makers and civil society. One of Europe’s largest fur farming countries, Poland will be well represented throughout the event, where the anti-fur movement has increasingly been attracting a lot of attention.

Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals adds:

‘We want to build awareness among EU decision makers of the need for national bans, as well as the adverse effects of fur farming on animal welfare and the environment. We urge MEPs to sign the Fur Free Pledge, and aim for better enforcement of the Council Directive on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (98/58/EC) and the Council of Europe Recommendation Concerning Fur Animals. We believe that this legislation and set of recommendations, if adopted, would bring an end to this cruel industry.’’

With consumers and retailers turning their backs on the cruel and unnecessary fur trade, this exhibition will be a valuable opportunity for European decision makers to keep pace with one of Europe’s fastest growing movements and make a positive change for animals.

Norwegian government agrees to ban fur farming

NORWAY, 21 JANUARY 2018 – Norway’s newly formed coalition government has agreed to ban all fur farming and have a total phase out by 2024. The ban on the production of animal pelts is part of the “Regjeringsplattformen”, an agreement on governing principles between the coalition parties. Norway, once the world’s top producer of fox pelts, joins a growing list of European nations that are turning their backs on the cruel and controversial practice of fur farming.

Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s government agreed to shut fox and mink farms that produce about one million pelts a year as part of a deal to broaden her minority government by adding the anti-fur Liberal Party.
The ban must now be voted on in Parliament, but the majority of the country’s political parties are expected to support it.

The inherent cruelty of the fur industry has been a major issue in Norway in recent years. In late 2016, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) announced that their inspectors had been shocked by high level of violations and injuries on Norwegian fur farms during recent inspections. On one farm, caged mink were found with such large open sores that they had to be put to death at the scene.  Other chronic animal suffering recorded included one mink who had crawled into a plastic pipe and all but skinned itself alive in its efforts to free itself.

In the same year, local animal rights group NOAH organised the world’s largest anti-fur protest in Oslo and other cities, where thousands upon thousands of people took to the streets against the horrors of the fur trade.

There are more than 300 fur farms in Norway.  In 2017 there were 773,000 mink killed on Norwegian fur farms, as well as 140,000 foxes.

Norway can now set an example to other Scandinavian countries Denmark, Sweden and Finland.  Denmark kills at least 17 million mink every year on factory farms, only surpassed by China. Finland is one of the world’s largest producers of fox fur and Finnish fur farmers have been globally shamed followed the recent exposure of obesity in factory farmed foxes. This is done to generate a larger pelt and to boost profits for the fur trade.







Finland urged to end the breeding of severely obese foxes for fur

FINLAND, 8 NOVEMBER 2017 – The selective breeding of super-sized foxes, that was recently exposed on Finnish fur farms, has caused an uproar in the international press. The shocking footage, that shows Arctic foxes so large they can barely move, has alarmed citizens and animal rights organisations across the globe.

Member organisations of the international animal protection coalition Fur Free Alliance urge Finland to use all measures available to end the cruel breeding of the extremely overweight Arctic foxes.


Veikka Lahtinen, the campaign coordinator of the Finnish animal rights organisation Animalia, says:

“The industry has been aware of the problem for a while. A study published in 2014 showed that during autumn as many as 86 percent of the animals had bent feet and a shocking 20 percent were morbidly obese. Officials need to take action and the Finnish Animal Welfare Act needs to grant officials a stronger mandate to ban selective breeding that causes significant damage to the animal.”

The Arctic foxes that are fattened up for the fur trade sometimes weigh 5 times their natural weight. As a result of the overweight, the foxes suffer from severe welfare problems such as loose skin and bent feet.

Member organisations of the Fur Free Alliance encourage companies in Finland and all around the world to give up fur products entirely and go fur-free. Brigit Oele, program manager of the Fur Free Alliance, says:

“Serious animal welfare problems are inherent to fur production. There is simply no way to keep animals in tiny battery cages without causing extreme suffering.”

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.