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Foxes, dogs, raccoons, minks: the farms of shame in Finland.

Fox fur in Finland. | Posted on 2021-11-22 21:04

Activists from FurFreeBritain and animal welfare NGO Humane Society International / UK took veterinarian Dr Marc Abraham OBE, made famous for his TV shows, on an undercover trip to fur farms in fox in Finland to expose the grim reality behind the soothing public relations-worthy formulas of the fur industry. What they discovered you won't find on the labels of Harrods, Harvey Nichols or Flannels selling Finnish fox fur clothing, or those of designers Fendi, Moncler, Yves Salomon, Woolrich, Herno and Max Mara - animals confined in small sterile metal cages, with deformed eyes and legs.

Shockingly, the UK is complicit in this cruelty because since the ethical ban on fur farming in 2000, the UK has imported over £ 850million of fur from overseas, including over £ 11million of fur from Finland alone.

Undercover investigation by Oikeutta Eläimille, animal activist from Humane Society International / UK and Finland, reveals appalling conditions and excruciating animal suffering in fur farms in Finland, a country that has exported more than 11 million pounds of fur to the UK since 2000 despite a ban on the same cruelty on UK fur farms. Fox fur native to Finland is used by brands such as Fendi, Moncler, Yves Salomon, Woolrich, Herno and Max Mara, and is seen in stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Flannels.

Stakeholders in the fur trade claim that nearly 100% of dog, fox and raccoon fur farms in Finland, and 96% of mink fur farms, are certified by the SAGA Furs * insurance program of the fur trade , promising " the highest level of animal welfare" . So Humane Society International / UK , which is leading the #FurFreeBritain campaign for a UK fur ban, brought in Dr Marc Abraham OBE, a senior media veterinarian and animal welfare activist , see for yourself the grim reality for animals behind the clever marketing of the fur trade. They visited three fur farms in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland, two of which are SAGA certified, and they found foxes in small sterile cages suffering from deformed feet, diseased eyes, d missing ears and obesity.

  • Photos and videos of the furry farm can be downloaded here.
  • The video of Marc Abraham at the fur farm can be downloaded here.

Filming took place in October 2021.

Finland is the largest producer of fox fur in Europe and the second in the world, exporting millions of pounds of fur all over the world, including to the UK. Since banning fur farming in 2000 for ethical reasons, the UK has imported over £ 850million of fur from various countries including France, Italy, Poland, China and the United States, with over £ 11million of fur from Finland alone. Through its #FurFreeBritain campaign, HSI / UK is urging the government to end this campaign by banning the import and sale of fur in the UK, an initiative supported by 72% of much of the general public. The government is currently considering a ban on the sale of fur and recently held a public consultation which received 30,000 responses.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International / UK, who has visited fur farms, said: “The fur trade buzzwords on welfare ring incredibly hollow when you look into the eyes of an animal tormented by a life of deprivation for a frivolous fashion item that no one needs. Most of the avant-garde designers have gone furless because of indefensible cruelty. But for the designers who still use fur, and for the UK government which still allows UK companies to trade in fur, our message is clear: it's time to stop complicit in this cruelty. It is clearly double standards that the UK is outsourcing to countries like Finland the same cruelty at fur farms that we banned here two decades ago. "

Veterinarian Dr Marc Abraham OBE said: “As a veterinarian and activist who dedicated his life to animal welfare, it was not only truly depressing to see the appalling condition of these foxes, but even worse to know that the UK is 100% complicit in this legal cruelty in the fur trade. What I witnessed firsthand was shameful from an animal welfare perspective, row after row, animals in pitiful conditions trapped in tiny cages, barely larger than the length of their noses. in the queue. Many of the foxes that we saw, had painfully swollen eyes, deformed feet with overly long claws with the obligation to stand on a floor made of wire, as well as poor body condition and severe obesity, not to mention self-harm, a clear sign of psychological trauma they must endure as wild animals without proper enrichment.

It must be mental torture for these animals to be denied the freedom to run and exercise in their natural woodland environment which they can clearly see around their cages, which their instinct tells them to explore for 24 hours. / 24 and 7 days a week. So many spaces to which, tragically, they will never have access during their short life. The UK government has assured us that after Brexit it will consider what could be done in terms of banning the sale of fur in the UK, and observing such high levels of animal suffering on these farms. Finnish animal husbandry, leave me in no doubt that now is the time to keep that promise. "

Two of the farms housed obese “monster foxes” raised with huge skins and rolls of fat folded over their bodies to increase the volume of fur that could be harvested. In 2017, the fur trade declared it would end the breeding of oversized foxes, yet this and previous inquiries continue to expose their existence.

Kristo Muurimaa from Finnish animal welfare group Oikeutta Eläimille said: “I have visited over a hundred fur farms across Finland and each one is as horrific as the last. Having a respected and recognized veterinarian who comes to Finland to witness animal suffering is really important in exposing the truth about the fur industry. "

Please sign and share HSI's petition calling for a UK fur ban: www.hsi.org/FurFreeBritain

Facts:

  • Over 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year around the world, on fur farms and trapped in the wild, which equates to three animals dying every second, just for their fur. Finland breeds and kills between 1 and 2 million foxes each year.
  • Raising fur animals is not only cruel to animals, it also poses risks to public health. Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been documented in 447 mink fur farms in 12 different countries in Europe and North America since April 2020. A letter signed in June by more than 60 vets and virologists highlighted the potential fur farms to act as reservoirs for the virus and the potential of fur farms to create future zoonoses
  • The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) ad hoc group on COVID-19 and the safe trade in animals and animal products concluded that raw mink skins cannot be considered a safe product for the international trade.
  • Fur farming has been banned and / or is being phased out in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, countries -Bas, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and UK. The Cabinet of the Republic of Ireland has approved legislation that would see fur farming banned from 2022; and legislation to ban mink cultivation is currently being debated by politicians in France, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and Ukraine.
  • Earlier this year, Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur.
  • In the United States, California became the first U.S. state to ban the sale of fur in 2019 following similar bans in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, and West Hollywood. The towns of Weston and Wellesley in Massachusetts and the town of Ann Arbor in Michigan have also recently banned the sale of fur, and more and more US cities and states are looking to do the same.
  • A growing number of fashion designers and retailers are abandoning fur due to the enormous animal suffering associated with it. In the last few years alone, Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Chanel, Prada and other leading brands have announced fur-free policies. In addition, major online fashion retail platforms Net-A-Porter, Farfetch and MyTheresa have adopted fur-free policies.
  • The fur comes with a high environmental price. Although all materials have some ecological footprint, compared to other textiles, fur has a significant impact in terms of C02 emissions associated with keeping and feeding tens of thousands of carnivorous animals in a farm, to the runoff of manure into lakes and rivers, and to the cocktail of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as chromium and formaldehyde used to preserve fur and skin to keep it from rotting.

* SAGA is a fur certification scheme which claims that SAGA certified farms have good animal health and welfare and provide safe and nurturing housing. As well as good agricultural hygiene and foods that meet nutritional needs at each phase of production. https://www.sagafurs.com/sustainability/certification/

In this article, reference to any specific business product or service, or use of any brand, trade, business, or company name is intended for public information only. Such reference does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humane Society International or its affiliates of the product or service, or by its producer or supplier, and should not be construed or relied upon, under any circumstances, implied or otherwise, as investment advice. The views and opinions of those interviewed expressed in the article do not necessarily state or accurately reflect those of Humane Society International or any of its affiliates. Links and hypertext access to other websites are provided as a convenience only and do not indicate or imply any endorsement of the content of this website or any opinions expressed thereon.

 

 

 

 

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