: Our work – fur farming

Bosnian government urged to uphold fur farming ban

25 APRIL 2017 – In a letter to the members of the Bosnian House of Peoples the Fur Free Alliance urges the Bosnian government to stay committed to the Animal Protection and Welfare Act that was voted upon in 2009 and make an end to fur farming.

In 2009 Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a law to ban fur farming with a 9 year phase-out period, that would make fur farming illegal in 2018. With an unusual, urgent procedure the Bosnian government has recently voted for a last-minute postponement of the ban. Worldwide organisations are urging Bosnia and Herzegovina to stay committed and make an end to the cruel practice of fur farming.  Joh Vinding, Chair for the Fur Free Alliance, says:

“In the last eight years, fur farmers in Bosnia and Herzegovina were given the opportunity to transition to a more sustainable industry. Prolonging the phase-out period would be unjustifiable to farmers that have respected the law. Besides, it would weaken the reliability of legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, given the unjustified, urgent procedure used by the House of Peoples to annul legislation that was voted upon by the Bosnian government eight years ago in 2009.”


Read the full letter to the members of the House of Peoples.

Fur coats or fasAnimal welfare problems on Norwegian mink farmshion accessories are non-essential luxury items. An increasing majority of the population finds it unjustifiable to subject animals to prolonged suffering for trivial ends, such as fashion items. The ethical concerns of a large majority of the European citizens and the inherent cruelty of fur farming have led more and more countries to close down fur farms in recent years. In 2000 the UK was the first country in Europe to ban fur farming on the ground of public morality. Other European countries that decided to ban fur farming since are Austria, The Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia.


New bill to ban fur farming in Estonia

ESTONIA, 6 MARCH 2017 – In February a legislative draft to ban fur farming in Estonia was proposed by member of parliament Barbi Pilvre (Social Democrats) . The proposed ban includes a ten-year changeover period for fur farmers to transition to a more sustainable industry.

The draft that was initiated by 14 parliament members from different factions (SDE, REF, KE) would end fur farming in Estonia by 1 January 2028.

According to Pilvre, the 10-year phase-out period offers sufficient time for the less than hundred people currently employed by the industry to retrain for a new profession and find other jobs.

Wild mink

In Estonia there are four mink and fox farms and about 27 chinchilla farms. A total of 200 000 animals are killed annually. 

According to the latest public opinion survey by Kantar Emor, 69% of the Estonian people do not support raising and killing animals on farms for fur.

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.

Fur Free Alliance shows support for Czech fur farming ban proposal

PRAGUE, 19 OCTOBER 2016 – This Tuesday the Fur Free Alliance visited the Parliament of the Czech Republic to show support for a new bill to ban fur farming. The new bill proposes to ban the breeding of animals solely or primarily for their fur. Existing farms would be phased out by the end of 2018 and a one-time payment would be provided to fur farmers as a form of compensation. The Czech Republic currently has nine registered fur farms.

A letter of support was handed over to the chairman of the Czech Committee on the Environment, Robin Böhnisch, who proposed the bill together with a group of more than 20 MEPs.

‘An increasing number of European countries are legislating against fur farming. The ethical concerns of a large majority of the European citizens and the inherent cruelty of fur farming have led more and more countries to close down fur farms in recent years. We are very pleased to see the Czech Republic is considering similar steps to become part of the forefront of a Europe that respects animal welfare.’

Read the full letter here.


Polish zoo adopts injured fox rescued from fur farm

POLAND, 12 SEPTEMBER 2016 – After a recent veterinary inspection a gravely injured silver fox was taken away from a Polish fur farm in Chodzież. The rescued fox, named Ferdinand, was examined by University Centre of Veterinary Medicine clinic in Poznań and found to suffer from grave skin problems and serious injuries. In an unexpected turn of events, the Poznań zoo – appalled to hear about Ferdinand’s condition –  offered to adopt the injured fox and take care of him for the rest of his life.

Ferdinand rescued fox

Watch the rescue operation by Fur Free Alliance member Otwarte Klatki here:

Exactly one year ago, in a similar rescue operation, Otwarte Klatki intervened when they found two extremely wounded young fox cubs during an inspection on a fur farm.  The fox cubs, named Hansel and Gretel, were hardly two months old and were both missing limbs. Injuries are unfortunately commonplace on fur farms. Animals kept on fur farms are wild predators and keeping them in small, wire mesh cages results in a number of stress-related health problems – as infected wounds, self-mutilation, bent feet and eye infections.

Similar to fur from Scandinavian and American fur farms, fur from Polish fur farms is sold as Origin Assured fur, a certificate that is supposed to reassure consumers about animal welfare regulations being in place. Fact is, Origin Assured does not give any guarantees regarding the standard of animal welfare on fur farms. After inspection it became clear that the fur farm in Chodzież was not even registered.

Watch more videos about Hansel and Gretel here: