4 DECEMBER 2016 – Popular Estonian brands Reval Denim Guild and GUILD have joined the international Fur Free Retailer program and are now part of an increasing number of designers, fashion houses, clothing chains and stores that are neither producing nor selling any products made out of real fur.
Joan Hint, the creator and art director of Reval Denim Guild and GUILD, says:
“We joined the program, because we value ethical production. We joined, because it is time to show that we care. It is time for all of us to stand for what is right. How else can we change the world for the better?” s
By establishing fur-free principles, Reval Denim Guild joins other famous high-end brands and store chains like Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, H&M, Esprit, Lindex, Etnies, O’Neill and others. From Estonia, Aus Design OÜ, WÖÖ, Kalle HT, KÄT, Perit Muuga, Mari Design and TUUB have joined the program. The representative of the Fur Free Retailer program in Estonia is NGO animal advocacy organization Loomus.
ITALY, 29 NOVEMBER 2016 – OVS, Italian’s leading clothing brand with over 800 stores in Italy and worldwide, will no longer use animal fur. The popular brand came out this week with a public statement to drop fur from its future collections. OVS worked together with LAV (Italian Animal Rights group) and is now part of the international Fur Free Retailer Program.
LAV: ‘This decision taken by the historic clothing brand will help to save millions of animals.’
OVS, that has already abandoned the use of animal fur in its collections, has signed the fur-free statement in collaboration with LAV and the Fur Free Alliance to reflect their ambition to protect and respect animals and the environment.
The animal friendly policy of OVS covers all of the products within the company’s brands; OVS, OVS kids, UPIM and Blukids. OVS is now committed to the Fur Free Retailer international standards (specifically committing to replace animal furs) and to Animal Free Fashion (the first fashion rating, developed by LAV attaches value to Social Responsibility policies on materials of animal origin that a company agrees not to use: V no fur; VV no fur or feathers; VVV no fur, feathers, leather or silk; VVV+ no fur, feathers, leather, silk or wool). Simone Pavesi, the LAV Animal Free Fashion Division Manager, says:
‘The decision taken by OVS Ltd to stop using animal fur, is a choice that is in line with the Sustainable Development policies that every fashion company should assume – And having made a public announcement, this decision must be taken as a commitment to society about the company’s environmental impact. This announcement from OVS Ltd will contribute significantly to the lives of millions of animals: another important reason to choose their products’
LAV and the Fur Free Alliance are glad with the public statement of OVS against the exploitation of animals for their fur, an opinion shared by the majority of Italians, which is confirmed every year by Eurispes (Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies).
PRAGUE, 10 NOVEMBER 2016 – Fur farming will no longer be allowed in the Czech Republic by 2019 according to a bill that the Chamber of Deputies passed in first reading yesterday. The amendment prohibits the breeding and killing of animals solely or primarily for the purpose of fur and was submitted by about one fourth of the members of the 200-seat Chamber. They say the conditions at fur farms meet the given standards but they do not meet the needs of wild animals.
Nine fur farms operate in the country, breeding mostly minks and foxes. Approximately 20,000 animals are killed at the farms a year. The number of farms has been declining for a long time. Lucie Moravcová, head of Fur Free Alliance member organization Svoboda Zvířat, says:
“Today’s vote is a huge step towards victory for minks and foxes, which are bred in the Czech Republic and cruelly killed just for fashion items. Although it is not yet won, we are very happy with the outcome of today’s vote and thank all members who supported this significant step forward for the protection of animals. There is no reason to continue to allow fur farming – the public wants fur farming to be banned and the demand for fur products is negligible.”
The bill was submitted in the spring of this year by a group of 50 deputies headed by Chairman of the Committee on the Environment Robin Böhnisch. Operators can apply for financial compensation for having closed down their fur farms, but the state need not compensate them. Opponents of the bill say the ban on fur farms may lead to the establishment of illegal fur farms that will not be supervised by the State Veterinary Administration Authority. Even though illegal fur farms have not been reported to emerge as a problem caused by fur farming bans in other European countries. The bill will be discussed in the lower house agricultural and environmental committees now.
Read more about fur farming bans.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
All 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.
An 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.