Vienna, 2 November 2022 – The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) that is calling on the Commission to introduce an EU-wide ban on keeping and killing animals for the purpose of fur production has now hit 50% of the signatures they need to potentially change the law.
This week the ECI hit 500,000 individual signatures needing to get the same amount again by May 2023.
National thresholds have been reached in EU major fur production countries Finland, Poland, Lithuania, relevant production countries Sweden, Bulgaria and Denmark, former production country Netherlands as well as in Germany and Slovakia. Latvia, France and Greece expected to follow soon.
Since the ECI´s inception, only six initiatives have hit the one million signatories to be submitted to the Commission. And of those, only two were followed by the adoption of a legislative proposal by the European Commission, addressing them solely as “sub-goals” of the respective ECIs.
However, one key animal welfare issue, End the Cage Age ECI, was legally successful and the proposal by the end of 2023 to phase out, and finally prohibit, the use of cage systems for domestic farm animals across the European Union.
“The Fur Free Europe ECI is well on its way to becoming only the 7th successful ECI. The numbers we are tracking and garnering are nothing like we have seen before. This really is a huge issue key to EU citizens across all 27 Member States."
Thomas Pietsch, Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles at FOUR PAWS
“The European Commission needs to take note and begin to get ready for this proposal, as it will meet the numbers needed. As President von der Leyen promised in her State of the Union address the animal welfare legislation revision will be one her and the Commissions priority over the upcoming year, the ECI will go hand in hand with meeting those requirements and promises.”
The ECI Fur Free Europe was officially registered by the European Commission on 16/03/2022 and will run from 18/05/2022 for one year. The ECI was submitted by a group of citizens from 7 EU Member States. It aims to achieve an EU-wide ban on the 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.
The European Union is one of the main regions for fur production globally. Every year millions of animals (mainly mink, foxes and raccoon dogs) are legally confined in small wire mesh cages and killed to produce unnecessary, easily replaceable fur articles. The mission is to end this cruel practice by introducing an EU-wide prohibition of fur farming.
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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. www.four-paws.org