BUCHAREST, 29 SEPTEMBER 2022 — Romania is being urged to become the 20th country in Europe to ban fur farming following revelations from an undercover investigation by Humane Society International/Europe which uncovers serious animal welfare concerns. Following discussion with HSI/Europe, deputies from the National Liberal Party have submitted a bill to Parliament to ban mink and chinchilla fur farming, and HSI/Europe has submitted its dossier of investigation evidence to Romania’s Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă with a formal request for the government to introduce a national fur farming ban.
In the first-ever exposé of chinchilla fur farms in Romania, filming by HSI/Europe reveals animals confined in small, filthy, wire mesh cages stacked three or four on top of each other, in windowless “farm” rooms, with piles of excrement accumulating under each cage. Baby chinchillas are seen struggling to walk on the wire cage floor, their legs slipping through the mesh, and adult chinchillas are filmed frantically chewing at the bars.
Chinchillas were housed individually (except when rearing young) despite being highly social creatures, and provided just a fraction of their species’ natural range in the wild—they can jump as high as one metre, and horizontally up to two metres. HSI’s investigator was told females are forced into a cycle of almost perpetual pregnancy, which can start again just several hours after giving birth. Fur farms employ an unnatural and likely stressful polygamous breeding system which allows the same male to have access to, and breed with, up to 10 females who are fitted with neck braces or collars to prevent them escaping their own cage during mating. Several fur farmers were also filmed holding chinchillas upside down by the tail, a practice that goes against veterinary advice due to the risk of tail snapping.
Andreea Roseti, Romania country director for Humane Society International/Europe, said:
“This investigation provides shocking evidence of the deprivation these animals are suffering in Romania for the fur industry. Such cruelty brings shame on Romania, and we hope that our investigation marks the beginning of the end for the fur industry here. I am sure that most Romanian citizens will be horrified to learn that hidden from view, thousands of gentle chinchillas are suffering in silence for the sake of frivolous fur fashion items that nobody needs. There is no future in fur farming in a modern, compassionate society. That is why 19 countries across Europe have fully banned the practice.
We are calling on Romania’s Prime Minister Ciucă to act swiftly with a comprehensive ban on fur farming of all species, to stop this atrocious suffering in the name of fashion. Top designers and manufacturers across the globe are shunning fur, and soon we hope the fur industry will be consigned to the history books. This is Romania’s chance to be on the right side of history.”
The investigation breaks as across Europe, EU citizens in their thousands are signing a European Citizens’ Initiative calling for an EU-wide ban on fur farming. The ECI must achieve one million signatures to trigger a response from the European Commission.
Undercover investigation on Romania’s fur farms sparks calls for a ban