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Animal protection organisations welcome Member States’ call for an end of fur farming in the EU at the Agriculture and Fishery Council meeting

FOUR PAWS joint press release with Eurogroup for Animals, Humane Society International and Fur Free Alliance

29.6.2021

On 28 June, the Dutch and Austrian governments presented an information note on fur farming in the Council, which received support from Germany, Poland, Italy, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxemburg, Slovenia, Ireland and Slovakia. The initiative calls on the European Commission to take action to permanently end fur farming in the EU based on animal welfare, ethics as well as health risks for humans and animals.

Fur farming is a cruel practice and should no longer have a place in Europe. Animals farmed for fur spend short miserable lives in small battery cages. It is evident that animals are unsuited to caged confinement and intensive breeding practices, which do not meet their natural and social needs.

Aside from the animal welfare issues associated with fur production, there are also considerable public health concerns. Since April 2020, over 400 fur farms across Europe have experienced outbreaks of COVID-19 in their mink herds. Only days ago, the SARS-CoV-2 was detected in mink on four more fur farms in Spain and two more in Poland. Despite enhanced biosecurity measures, the virus has shown to rapidly spread between mink and was also transmitted from humans to mink and mink to humans.

This creates the perfect environment for mutations to occur and can decrease vaccine efficacy.

The signatories of the information note “ask the European Commission to investigate the options for the permanent prohibition of fur farming in the EU and to present a legislative proposal to achieve this goal”.

Austria and the Netherlands are not alone in calling for an end of fur farming. EU citizens are also urging it not only to protect human health in the wake of COVID-19, but also to end animal suffering. Indeed, more than 500.000 people have already signed a petition calling for the end of the fur trade. Now their voices are mirrored in the Member States’ requests.

Multiple EU Member States have already enforced national bans on fur production and numerous scientists have called for an end of mink farming for the sake of public health and safety. With this groundswell of support for an end to fur farming, it is now up to the European Commission to step up and develop a plan to assist Member States in phasing out all fur farming in Europe.

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Katharina Braun

Katharina Braun

PR International Officer

katharina.braun@four-paws.org

+43-664 885 33 270

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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 and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – 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 eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org

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