Fur Farming

Every year, around 100 million animals are raised and killed for their fur. Over 95% of fur sold globally, comes from farmed animals, such as mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, rabbits and chinchillas. On fur factory farms, animals spend their entire lives in cramped battery cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviours.

Keeping wide-ranging predatory animals in small cages causes severe animal welfare problems – such as self-mutilation and infected wounds.

Wild animals

Unlike other farmed species, animals bred for fur are essentially wild animals, which have undergone only a very limited domestication process.

The active selection of animals on fur farms is mainly focused on fur quality and very little on tameness and adaptability to captive environments.

The recommendations (2001) of the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (SCAHAW) state correspondingly:

In comparison with other farm animals, species farmed for their fur have been subjected to relatively little active selection except with respect to fur characteristics.’

welfare problems

The confinement in tiny battery cages on fur farms prevents animals from expressing their basic natural behaviours, such as running and hunting for food. The stress of the caging conditions and fear of humans cause animals kept for fur to exhibit a high number of stress-related welfare problems.

Numerous scientific reports have indicated that severe health problems are inherent to fur production and that animals on all fur farms have been found to exhibit physical and behavioral abnormalities as:

‘…infected wounds, missing limbs from biting incidents, eye infections, bent feet, mouth deformities, self-mutilation, cannibalism of dead siblings or offspring and other stress-related stereotypical behaviour.’

Stereotypical behavior, as a result of stress, occurs on all fur farms and is expressed as pacing along the cage wall, repetitive circling or nodding of the head.

an inhumane death

To preserve the pelts, animals on fur farms are killed by inhumane methods, such as gassing and head-to-tail electrocution.

Fox and raccoon dogs are generally electrocuted through the mouth and anus; a method with potential to inflict severe pain and distress on the animal.

Mink are semi-aquatic and highly evolved physiologically to hold their breath. They are therefore prone to hypoxia, which means they can suffer significantly during gassing.

‘Killing mink with CO2 should be avoided, and humane methods developed.’ (SCAHAW, 2001)

Fur bans

Laws to prohibit the breeding and killing of animals for fur is becoming increasingly widespread in Europe. Over 15 European countries have introduced legislation to ban or phase out fur farming, including the UK (2000), The Netherlands (2023), Serbia (2019), Czech Republic (2019), Norway (2025) and Belgium (2019). In these countries animal welfare concerns have been given priority over the fur industry’s interests.

Latest news

  • Shocking investigation on probably the largest fur farm in the world

    POLAND, 8 SEPTEMBER 2020 - Today, activists from Polish animal rights organisation Otwarte Klatki pu

    Finnish Social Democrats take a historic stand against fur farming

    FINLAND, 25 AUGUST 2020 - In a historic vote, the Social Democratic party of Finland (SDP) committed

    Spanish citizens protest mink fur farm in Santa Maria de Alameda

    SPAIN, 20 AUGUST 2020 - Last Saturday, Spanish citizens took the streets in Santa Maria de Alameda t

  • Dutch MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of shutting down mink fur farms in the Netherlands

    THE HAGUE, 24 JUNE 2020 - Yesterday, politicians voted in favour of the early closure of farms with

    Calls for global closure of mink fur farms as Dutch government orders cull and confirms mink fur farms could act as reservoir for COVID-19

    The Fur Free Alliance urges governments to close mink farms in all countries 

    Protesters in Latvia demand fur farming ban

    RIGA, 4 December 2019 – Over 800 hundred protesters joined a march in Riga, Latvia on November 30