Fur Farming

Most fur sold globally is from farmed animals, as mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, rabbits and chinchillas. Worldwide each year more than 100 million animals are killed on fur farms after short and miserable lives in small wire mesh battery cages, only for fashion.

Keeping wild predators in small cages results in numerous serious stress-related health problems – as infected wounds, missing limbs, cannibalism and stereotypical behaviour. To preserve the pelts animals on fur farms or killed by cruel methods as gassing, neck-breaking, anal electrocution and sometimes skinning alive.

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.’ Being locked up in tiny barren cages prevents animals kept for fur from expressing their basic natural behaviours, such as running and hunting for food.

The stress of the caging conditions and their fear of humans induces numerous physical and behavioral abnormalities.

Animal welfare problems

Kept in small wire cages, fear of humans and the restriction to exhibit natural behaviours causes animals on fur farms to exhibit a high number of stress-related animal welfare problems. Numerous scientific reports have indicated that serious health problems are inherent to fur production and that animals on all fur farms have been found to exhibit health issues 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.

Fur bans

Fur bans have been introduced in numerous countries in recent years prohibiting the farming of some or all species for fur. Legislation to ban or phase out fur farming is adopted in the UK and Northern Ireland (2000), Austria (2004), Croatia (2006), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009), The Netherlands (2023), Slovenia (2013), Republic of Macedonia (2014), Czech Republic (2019), Norway (2025 and Belgium (2019). In these countries animal welfare concerns have been given priority over the fur industry’s interests.

Furthermore, countries as Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Denmark and Sweden have adopted stricter regulations which have phased out the breeding of all animals for fur or the breeding of certain species, such as foxes.

More facts on fur farming

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

FACTS AND STATS

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