NORWAY, 17 DECEMBER 2015 – Severely untreated injuries, sick animals and inhumane killing methods were some of atrocities encountered by inspectors which causes four Norwegian mink farms to face closing down. During various inspections of the Food Safety Authority, the animal welfare on the mink farms was repeatedly found to be in such urgent, abominable state that inspectors demanded the immediate euthanization of a number of animals on multiple instances. Last month inspectors likewise demanded for the immediate discontinuation of the killing of mink on the farms, which was carried out in a severely inhumane manner according to the inspectors.
The fur farms, the largest owning 30.000 animals, are expelled from the Norwegian Fur Society, making it highly unlikely they will be able to continue their businesses. Unfortunately serious animal welfare problems are not an exception but business as usual on fur farms, which is why many countries recently decided to ban fur farming or are currently debating a fur ban.
Among some of the major welfare problems the inspectors encountered on the farms were seriously infected wounds, animals missing limbs, a defect gas meter and some animals were found to be still alive after being gassed one day earlier. Animal handlers were observed hard-handedly grabbing mink by their tails and slamming the animals into the gas boxes, after which animals were observed to to be gassed for nearly 3 minutes before passing out. Gassing, which is the standard method to kill mink on most European fur farms, is reported by numerous animal welfare experts as a highly painful and unacceptable killing method. Anton Krag, director of the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance, says:
‘The possible closing down of a fur farm with 30.000 animals is a serious blow to the fur industry. The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance is glad that the authorities seem to be taking the incredible suffering of fur animals more seriously. However, this is not enough and we will therefore continue our work demanding that politicians ban fur farming in Norway.’
The Food Safety Authority has been monitoring the farms since 2013 and concluded that no improvements whatsoever of animal welfare had been made on the farms. The fur farmer denies all accusations of violations of animal welfare on his farms – even after the inspectors have clearly documented and pointed out the serious health problems of the animals – but contrarily believes he is being harassed. The decision of the Norwegian Fur Society yesterday to exclude the farms from membership causes the fur farmers to lose some significant benefits. Anton Krag:
‘When the fur farmer’s organisation are forced to exclude their own members, it is proof of just how serious the situation is. Fur farmers in Norway insist on keeping predators in tiny cages, which is why the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance demand a political ban on fur farming.’