The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) aiming to achieve an EU-wide ban on keeping and killing of animals for the sole or main purpose of fur production, as well as placing farmed animal fur and products containing such fur on the EU market was launched today with support of Members of the European Parliament.
To date, 13 Member States have totally or partially banned or strictly regulated fur farming, sometimes with phasing-out periods. The most recent countries to join the list were Ireland, which in March 2022 finalised legislation for a ban and is expected to close all farms this year while France, Estonia and Italy decided to introduce bans on fur farming in 2021.
The recent influx of countries banning or tightly regulating the fur production is not only motivated by animal welfare, but also by concerns for public health and safety. SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected on almost 450 mink farms in the EU and almost 20 million animals were culled to protect human health. To prevent further transmission of COVID-19 and protect the health of people and animals, countries like The Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Sweden have taken drastic measures and suspended fur farming or banned it completely.
Tilly Metz MEP, President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, said “The ECI Fur Free Europe is a historic chance to bring about new and progressive legislation on animal welfare. I vividly encourage citizens in all 27 EU Member States to add their names and to say enough is enough. In this day and age, fur farming is needless animal torture and poses serious health risks to humans.”
Morgane Le Dreau, Wild Animal Policy Coordinator at FOUR PAWS said: “Throughout the past two years COVID has dominated every aspect of our lives and now is the time to connect the dots. Fur farming poses a risk to animal and human health, as illustrated during the Covid-19 pandemic when hundreds of mink farms were affected by coronavirus outbreaks and new virus variants of SARS-CoV-2 were transmitted from mink to humans.”
Pierre Sultana, Director of European Policy Office for FOUR PAWS, said, “Fur farming is inherently cruel, and it is widely rejected by EU citizens. It goes against the most basic concepts of animal welfare. On fur farms animals do not live in an environment that provides choice, proper housing, or a species appropriate comfortable resting area. The conditions experienced by - animals on farms do not promote an environment that enhances fitness but serves to protect the value of the animals.”
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org