: Grant projects

Estonian population against fur farming

ESTONIA, 5 FEBRUARY 2017 –  69% of the Estonian population does not support raising and killing animals on farms for fur and 75% of the Estonians disapprove of the use of animals in circuses, as was found in the latest survey by Kantar Emor.

According to the survey, that was commissioned by the animal advocacy organization NGO Loomus, 81% of women and 55% of men disapprove of raising and killing animals on farms for fur. 82% of women and 67% of men disapprove of the use of wild animals in circuses. 69% of Estonians and Russians disapprove of raising and killing animals on farms for fur. 83% of Estonians and 58% of Russians disapprove of the use of wild animals in circuses. Kadri Taperson, the manager of Loomus, says:

“Estonian residents’ support for ending animal exploitation in circuses and on fur farms is growing year by year. In comparison to the survey conducted a couple of years ago, the number of people who disapprove of fur farms has grown by 11%. In March 2014, 43% of the people in Estonia thought that wild animals should not be used in circus acts. So, the number of these people has grown by as much as 32% in two and a half years,”

854 People aged 15-74 years participated in the national omnibus survey conducted in December 2016 by Kantar Emor.

Public opinion polls in Europe show high percentages of the population that consider raising and killing of animals for fur unacceptable:

Public Opinion map

Read more about the public opinion against fur farming.


International experts discuss fur farming ban legislation in Czech Parliament

PRAGUE, 25 OCTOBER 2016 – Last Thursday an international seminar took place in the Chamber of Debuties in Prague to discuss legislation concerning fur farming bans. The seminar, which was organized by animal protection organization Svoboda Zvirat and supported by the  Fur Free Alliance, gathered experts on the political and legislative process, and the scientific grounds, of banning fur farming in support of a new bill in Czech Republic. The event was held under the patronage Robin Böhnisch, member of parliament and Chairman of the Committee on the Environment, who proposed the bill. Robin Bönisch fur farming ban
There are currently 9 fur farms in Czech Republic where minks and/or fox are bred. In spring of this year, a group of 50 deputies, led by Chairman of the Committee on the Environment Robin Böhnisch, submitted a draft law that would completely ban these farms:

‘Breeding and killing animals primarily for fur is no longer acceptable in the 21st century. Species like mink and fox can not be successfully domesticated. Therefore I welcome the powerful coalition across the political spectrum that the Chamber of Deputies has formed to support this proposal.’

Seminar Czech fur farming ban

Among the speakers was globally recognized expert on the ethology of foxes Professor Stephen Harris and Maria Eagle, former UK Minister, who introduced the private members bill to ban fur farming in the UK:

‘Breeding animals for fur is cruel. Civilised society should not tolerate this unnecessary suffering, and I believe politicians will pay due attention to the topic and that the Czech Republic will join the other European countries and have banned these antiquated practices.’


View the presentation ‘Case against Fur Factory Farming’ by Professor Stephen Harris.

Other speakers at the seminar included Dr. Holger Herbrüggen – veterinary inspector in Austria, where fur farming was banned in 2005 – and Inez Staarink, Policy Advisor on Agriculture, Nature, Animals and Food in The Netherlands, who was involved with the parliamentary process of passing the mink farming ban into Dutch law:

‘Vanity as a goal does not justify the suffering and killing of animals.’

Read the presentation ‘Why fur farming is being banned in the Member States’ of Inez Staarink,


According to opinion polls the majority of the Czech and the European public considers killing animals for fur unacceptable. A fur farming ban in Czech Republic would therefore be in line with public interest, according to Lucie Moravcová from Svoboda zvířat, the hosting organization of the seminar:

‘The aim of this seminar is to provide the Czech legislator,  the State Veterinary Administration and professional public with the information and experience regarding the approval and implementation of laws banning fur farms in countries where similar legislation already exists.’

The first reading of the bill will take place on the 8th of November. Fur farming is already banned in 8 European countries and 5 more countries are currently having parliamentary debates about fur farming bans.

Estonian fashion designers support a ban on fur farming

ESTONIA, 6 OCTOBER 2016 – For the first time in Estonia, local fashion designers stand up to support a ban on fur farms in a campaign run by the animal advocacy organization Loomus. This project is a part of the long-term campaign “I am on the side of animals!”, which supports the ambition to submit a bill to the parliament that would ban fur farming in Estonia.

The campaign includes fashion designers Reet Aus, Margaret Kodusaar, Kalle Aasamäe, Kätlin Kikkas, Perit Muuga, Marilin Sikkal, Tiiu Roosma and Kadri Vahe. The author of the photos is Juta Kübarsepp, designs are made by Tõnis Aaliste.

Margaret KodusaarAll the fashion designers, who stood up in the campaign, also joined the international Fur Free Retailer program, in which the participating designers, fashion houses, clothing chains and stores do not produce or sell products made of real fur.

By establishing fur free principles, the Estonian fashion designers join famous high-end brands and store chains such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, H&M, Esprit, Lindex, Etnies, O’Neill and others. Altogether about 300 companies across the world have joined the program.

In 2014, a national petition to ban fur farms in Estonia gathered more than 10,000 signatures from the citizens of Estonia. At the end of 2014, Loomus took the signatures and the corresponding memorandum to Riigikogu, the parliament of Estonia. After numerous public discussions and analyses, the Rural Affairs Committee that was supposed to decide the fate of fur farms in September this year, has decided to postpone the decision and ask for an opinion from the government of Estonia.

Reet AusAn international petition to ban fur farms in Estonia has already gathered more than 28,000 signatures.

Today, fur farming is banned in the United Kingdom, Austria, Croatia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fur farming is partially banned in Denmark, Belgium, Sweden and New Zealand. According to a survey conducted by TNS Emor, 58% of the Estonian population do not support fur farming.

Award-winning documentary Inside Fur screened in Estonia

TALLIN, 3 DECEMBER – Last week the Norwegian Award-winning documentary Inside Fur (Pels) was screened at Tallinn’s Cinema House. The documentary, which gives an alarming inside view on the atrocities of the Nordic fur industry, was internationally released in April 2015 and is currently circulating the global film festival circuit. The film screening, which was organised by Fur Free Alliance member Loomus, was introduced by Norwegian director Ola Waagen to a full house of over 100 visitors. On the 12th of January 2016 another screening of the film will take place in Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia, and in May next year the film will be aired on Estonian public television.

The documentary follows psychologist Frank Nervik while he exposes the grim truth about the Nordic fur industry. Posing as a new fur farmer, his hidden camera captures riveting footage of his training and day-to-day work, culminating in him being forced to experience the process all the way to the painful end. Learn more on the website of the documentary and follow Inside Fur on Facebook to stay updated. The trailer of Inside Fur an be viewed here.




Photography: Liina Lelov

Scientists call for fur bans in EU member states

STRASBOURG, 26 NOVEMBER 2015 – Yesterday, the Intergroup on Welfare and Conservation of Animals met to discuss fur farming in the EU. The meeting included the launch of the new report “The Case Against Fur Factory Farming – A Scientific Review of Animal Welfare Standards and ‘WelFur’”, produced by British Fur Free Alliance member Respect for Animals. Case-against-fur-farming-1The comprehensive and detailed scientific report concludes that fur bans are the only solution to the serious animal welfare problems in the fur industry.

The meeting was opened by MEP Janusz Wojciechowski, President of the Intergroup on Welfare and Conservation of Animals who welcomed everyone to the launch of the new report. Mark Glover, Campaigns Director from the UK based NGO Respect for Animals, continued:

“The 2001 report from the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare concluded that the housing systems cause serious animal welfare problems for the animals kept on fur farms. Nothing has changed in today’s fur farms. With the WelFur protocols, the fur industry is trying to muddy the waters. Our new report examines all of the recent research and its conclusion is stark: the case for banning fur farming is overwhelming.”

Professor Stephen Harris who is the co-author of the report “The Case Against Fur Factory Farming – A Scientific Review of Animal Welfare Standards and ‘WelFur’”:

“The needs of undomesticated animals cannot be met in any farming system. The WelFur protocols have been designed around the very serious limitations of current housing systems. The WelFur best current practice still represents what most people would consider to be an unacceptable level of welfare.”

fur farming intergroup for animal welfare

Inez Staarink, Policy Advisor on Agriculture, Nature, Animals and Food – Dutch Parliament, spoke about the process of banning fur farming in the Netherlands, a country that was the third biggest mink fur producing country in Europe. She recommended the MEPs to support bans in the Member States, to prohibit the expansion of fur farms and to get correct labelling of fur products.

“The Netherlands will no longer export fur, but instead we will export bans on fur farming.”

Read the full report here.


Major new report on European fur trade

What’s behind fashion? European fur trade marketed as responsible business.

The European fur industry, and especially the Nordic fur industry, markets itself as a responsible business concerned about ethics. A new report reveals that fur farms producing Saga fur, the main Nordic fur auction house and brand, share the considerable animal welfare problems inherent in fur production, that have led to bans on ethical and welfare grounds in several countries.

DEF Fur free A4IIThe report Animal welfare and the European fur trade will be launched on 15 October in the European Parliament in room ASP 04F384. The event is organised by the Fur Free Alliance and Eurogroup for Animals and will be hosted by Finnish Member of Parliament Heidi Hautala. 

Read the report here.

In both official inspections and investigations done by animal interest groups and the media serious welfare problems have come to light on fur farms in Saga countries. These farms with welfare problems have included certified farms and farms belonging to key figures in the Finnish and Norwegian fur industries. Saga Furs has played a significant role in the worldwide increase in fur farming and fur consumption and has particularly been very active in countries such as China that have limited animal welfare legislation. Saga’s work can be regarded as a marketing campaign combating increasing ethical awareness and stimulating the demand for fur globally.

The program for the event:

Opening remarks by MEP Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR), Poland, President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals

Welcome remarks by Reineke Hameleers, Director Eurogroup for Animals and Joh Vinding, Chair Fur Free Alliance

Presentation of the report by the co-authors Salla Tuomivaara, Director Animalia, and Siri Martinsen, veterinarian, Director NOAH

Comments by MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP), Finland

Comments by MEP Jeppe Kofod (S&D), Denmark

Documentation from fur farms, Jo-Anne McArthur, photographer

Concluding remarks Reineke Hameleers, Director Eurogroup for Animals, and Joh Vinding, Chair Fur Free Alliance

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