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Concerns about the creation of a reference centre for fur 

18.10.2019

FOUR PAWS condemns the decision of the European Commission earlier this month to include animals farmed for their fur in the 2nd reference centre for small farmed animals

This new reference centre aims at providing technical support and assistance to the EU countries in carrying out official controls in the field of animal welfare, as well as disseminating good practices. In particular, reference centre provide scientific and technical expertise and develop methods to assess or improve animal welfare standards.

However, science has proven that fur farming is incompatible with animal welfare. Unlike the procedure used for establishing the first reference centre on pigs, this time the Commission decided to not consult Member States to adopt the second reference centre. 

In addition, FOUR PAWS is particularly concerned that Aarhus University, which has been working closely with the fur industry in developing their certification scheme, is now part of the consortium created by the Commission to improve the enforcement of the EU legislation.

“We are shocked: we were told by Commissioner Andriukaitis’ collaborators that, concerning fur, the role of the reference centre will only be to collect information on the industry. The inclusion of one supporter of the fur industry’s programmes as part of the successful consortium suggests that Aarhus could play a bigger role. Moreover, the trick that the Commission used to establish this second reference centre is very concerning from a democratic point of view. Even the reason why fur farming has been included is also very obscure.” 

says Pierre Sultana, FOUR PAWS Director of the European Policy Office. 

Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and the United Kingdom have already banned the keeping of fur animals by law. The Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina are phasing out fur farming. Besides, Ireland and Bulgaria are also currently discussing legislation to prohibit fur farming.

No later than this week, the Slovakian Parliament voted in favour of banning fur production in the country. There are no interests and needs to implement a reference centre while many European countries have banned the keeping of fur farming and many others are following.

FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. The work is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise as well as intensive national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence: stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companion animals and wild animals including bears, big cats and orang-utans kept in inappropriate conditions. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly. www.four-paws.org