POLAND, 29 JANUARY 2015 – New hidden camera footage showing the slaughter of foxes on fur farms, published by Polish Fur Free Alliance member Otwarte Klatki, is used by authorities to investigate the violation of animal cruelty laws.
The graphic video footage was recorded on four fur farms in Greater Poland and Silesia regions in November and December 2015. According to activists, slaughter practices violating the Animal Protection Act might be common practice on many fur farms. Pawel Rawicki, vice-president of Otwarte Klatki, says:
“Thanks to hidden cameras we can now see with our own eyes what farmers would never show to any media, animal rights organizations or veterinary inspection officers. Although the Animal Protection Act is designed to ensure humane slaughter of animals, something quite different is happening on fur farms. Our footage shows raccoon dogs getting killed by electrocution in front of other animals watching the whole scene from their cages. It is even worse on another farm: foxes are killed inside their cages, surrounded by other foxes witnessing the death of their cagemates. The ones who are left alive see the bodies of those already dead being thrown from place to place, before the workers take them to a skinning shed.”
These malpractices, however, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to animal welfare problems in fur farming. The video footage from a fur farm in Koscian will be used by Otwarte Klatki to notify the prosecution about the alleged cruelty to animals, involving animal abuse and cruel farming methods. The farm employees may face punishment of up to three years in prison. The District Veterinary Inspection will also be notified of the malpractices in animal slaughter on the fur farm in Koscian.
According to the Otwarte Klatki activists, the list of common animal welfare problems in fur farming is long. Foxes, raccoon dogs and mink are carnivores that are not adapted to being confined in cages, hence the numerous acts of aggression, fighting and cannibalism. Pawel Rawicki explains:
“All the situations we documented show cruelty to animals that exists within the law, as well as numerous violations of the current legislation. According to the Animal Protection Act, animals that spend their entire lives on fur farms should be guaranteed a humane slaughter that is free from unnecessary stress and suffering. But as we can see in the video footage, animal welfare is virtually ignored during slaughter.”
The activists hope that the videos showing the cruelty of the slaughter of foxes and raccoon dogs will lead to the banning of the farming of these animals in Poland. Otwarte Klatki is collecting signatures for a petition in which the members of the Polish Parliament are asked to work on introducing appropriate changes to the Animal Protection Act. The petition has been already signed by over 60,000 people.
Watch video footage from the inspected fur farms.
Each year about 100,000 foxes and raccoon dogs are killed for fur in Poland. Animals are born in the spring and killed in November and December. According to the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture, canids can be killed with electric current of 0.3 A which should last for at least 3 seconds. Animals are killed in such a way so as not to damage their fur – the quality of fur is what determines the breeders’ profits. Raising animals for fur has already been outlawed in some European countries, like the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and partially also in Switzerland and Denmark. In Germany the last operating fur farms are expected to close soon.