New photos show culling on Finnish Fur Farms

New Photos Show culling on Finnish Fur Farms

Bird flu outbreak sparks pandemic concerns 


Helsinki, 30 August 2023 – New photos reveal poor biosecurity measures and horrible conditions on Finnish fur farms, where animals were being killed over a bird flu outbreak.

On the images, collected by Finnish animal protection NGO Oikeutta eläimille, fur farm employees can be seen with masks resting on their chin while feeding animals and wearing open protective clothing without masks while working near the animal enclosures. The photos also show dead and cannibalized animals left in small, desolate cages and other animals suffering in agony.

Earlier this month Finnish authorities stated that they will now have to cull 120,000 animals due to the ongoing outbreak of Highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu on 25 farms across the country.

FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, said that the images were “deeply disturbing and distressing”.

Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles, said, “Public health and animal wellbeing are inextricably interlinked as we have seen with COVID-19. These photos are deeply disturbing and distressing on many levels, from the treatment of animals to the biosecurity protocols not being enforced.”

The uncontrolled spread of the virus among mink and foxes highlights the pandemic potential of fur farming and the urgent need for action at the European level.

Pietsch added, “Europe is having severe ongoing outbreaks of bird flu. This serious matter needs a global, aligned response to tackle the zoonotic risks before a more dangerous and highly contagious variant develops. An EU wide ban must be implemented on fur farming. We cannot compromise the wellbeing of animals for a fashion accessory.

“Although the industry is declining, Finland is still a major fur producing country in Europe with more than 500 farms for mink, foxes and raccoon dogs.  With such a high number of fur farms, this was avoidable and a needless tragedy. Fur farming does not belong in a modern society or a modern economy.”.

Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles

Scientific studies have shown that fur farming poses high risks for future viral pandemics, which strongly urge governments to also consider the mounting evidence suggesting that “fur farming, particularly mink, be eliminated in the interest of pandemic preparedness. In June of this year the final count of validated signatures for the Fur Free Europe European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which aims to achieve an EU-wide ban on keeping and killing of animals for the sole purpose of fur production, was confirmed at an impressive 1,502,319 submitted to the European Commission.



Link to photographs:
© Copyright to Oikeutta eläimille

Raccoon dog in Finland

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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, France, 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.

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