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.

‘Fear of humans in the undomesticated animals used by the fur industry makes them fundamentally unsuitable for farming.’

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

  • Undercover investigation on Romania’s fur farms sparks calls for a ban

    BUCHAREST, 29 SEPTEMBER 2022 — Romania is being urged to become the 20th country in Europe to ban

    Latvia bans fur farming

    RIGA, 22 SEPTEMBER 2022 — Today, in the final and deciding vote, the Parliament of Latvia, known a

    Malta introduces ban on fur farming

    MALTA, 9 AUGUST 2022 - Last week the Maltese Ministry of Agriculture

  • Bulgaria bans breeding and import of American mink

    UPDATE: On 5 August 2022 the ban was suspended by the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court due to

    Fur Free Europe ECI – it is time to #MakeFurHistory

    BRUSSELS, 18 MAY 2022 - The Fur Free Alliance today celebrated the launch of the

    Anti-fur campaigners visit Spanish Parliament to urge for a ban on fur farming

    On Thursday 5th May 2022, the Spanish Parliament formed the backdrop