Helsinki, 19th January 2023 – New and exclusive footage shows shocking images of foxes in Finnish fur farms with weeping and swollen infected eyes and ears, injured and bloodied tails, and deformed splayed feet.
The footage also shows obese 'monster foxes' with huge skin folds from selective breeding and baby foxes cannibalising their dead siblings.
The footage exposes the suffering of animals for fur fashion, even in a country like Finland where the fur trade boasts that almost 100% of fox fur farms are certified by the fur trade’s SAGA Furs assurance scheme. The scheme promises “the highest level of animal welfare” but the atrocious conditions documented show a different story. Fox fur originating from Finland is used by brands including Fendi, Yves Salomon, Woolrich, Ermanno Scervino and Max Mara.
The exposé comes as more than 1.3 million EU citizens so far have signed the EU-wide “Fur-Free Europe” European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) petition calling on the European Commission to ban the farming and sale of fur in the EU.
Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles, spoke of his disbelief and disgust of the footage. “The footage is utterly abhorrent. This is why 92% of EU citizens want stronger animal welfare legislation, this is why European consumers prioritise brands who do not participate in animal suffering, they do not believe that this is right or humane."
“As we have seen with the ECI, which has hit record numbers, the public have spoken: fur farms are no longer socio and economical acceptable, but the final stage is that is reflected in law at an EU level in 2023 with a total ban across all Member States.”
Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles
Finnish animal group Oikeutta eläimille (OE) filmed at six randomly selected fur farms in the Ostrobothnia region of western Finland between June and November 2022. OE’s Kristo Muurimaa said: “The majority of Finns want to ban keeping animals in barren cages just for their fur, but our politicians have failed to bring an end to the cruelty. An EU-wide ban would help the animals also in other member countries, where the greed for money is valued over animal welfare.”
The footage has been released by animal protection groups Oikeutta eläimille and Humane Society International/Europe. View HERE
- More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide—that is equivalent to three animals dying every second, just for their fur.
- Fur farming has been banned in 19 European countries (14 of which are EU member states), including the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland, Estonia, France, Italy and most recently, on 22nd September 2022, Latvia. Political discussions on a ban are also underway in Romania, Lithuania, Spain and Poland. A further two countries (Switzerland and Germany) have implemented such strict regulations that fur farming has effectively ended, and three other countries (Denmark, Sweden and Hungary) have imposed measures that have ended the farming of certain species.
- An increasing number of fashion designers and retailers are dropping fur cruelty. In the last few years alone, Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Chanel, Prada and other high-profile brands have announced fur-free policies.
- The fur trade in Finland is in financial decline, with many fur farms closing down and some fur farmers in Europe diversifying or transitioning to other livelihoods such as solar panels, to secure their future.
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