7 DECEMBER 2016 – For two months, an employee of a fur farm in Masanów, Poland, observed and recorded his everyday work, which included numerous cases of cruelty to animals. The farm breeds over 80,000 American minks each year, and in autumn they are killed and skinned for fur. The recordings from the investigation have now been published by Open Cages.
The shocking video reveals numerous cases of cruel handling of animals: the beating of minks by angry employees, throwing them against walls, trampling them during their escape attempts or tossing them into cages by the tail.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Note the video contains graphic scenes.
The recordings document the large amount of animals that are sick and left without any care. Some minks are partly paralyzed and have visible bloody wounds with protruding bones or hatching larvae. The former employee says that the only thing that can be done is to move the animals to separate cages or use a disinfectant:
“There is a special spray that can be used on sick minks, but in practice no one uses it because the system has no room for treatment. It’s all about the fur, not the animal. The hardest parts were witnessing the murder of animals and the senseless violence. The minks held in cages scream and squeal. For some workers, this is enough to beat them.”
Each day, workers remove dozens of dead minks from cages. The bodies of some of them show deep, painful wounds and severe damage. Paweł Rawicki from Open Cages, says:
“The recordings debunk one of the biggest myths of the fur industry – that the breeders take proper care of the minks because otherwise their fur would be of no use to them. As you can see, it’s not true.”
Animals that don’t make it to the autumn slaughter are skinned anyway, which can also be witnessed in the video by the former employee.
The farm is operated by Farm Equipment International and is part of the Dutch fur empire owned by the Leeijen brothers, who are said to be the biggest providers of mink furs in the world. The company owns 14 farms all around Poland and is only one of many Dutch businesses that are investing in the Polish fur industry. Due to a complete ban on fur farming in the Netherlands, leading fur makers are currently moving their operations to Poland and Lithuania.
This is not the first case of cruel animal mistreatment revealed to be taking place on this company’s farms. On 6th November 2016, two employees of a Farm Equipment International facility in Giżyn received a sentence of six months’ imprisonment suspended for a 2-year trial period. Recordings of animal rights activists from ‘Szczecińska Inicjatywa na Rzecz Zwierząt BASTA!’ show the employees as they brutally throw minks into gas chambers, hit them against cages and beat them severely.
On 15th November 2016, Open cages petitioned the Polish members of Parliament for the ban of canid fur farming, which includes foxes as well as racoon dogs. The petition has been signed by 120,000 people. It is the first step in the direction of ending the suffering of millions of creatures in these facilities, leading to a complete ban of fur farming of any kind of animals.
The petition to stop animal cruelty on Polish fur farms can be signed here.