8 April 2021 – Today the European Commission approved a massive state aid of 1.74 billion Euro for Danish mink farmers and related businesses that were hit by a coronavirus outbreak. After COVID-19 was detected on 290 farms last year, the Danish government decided to cull the entire population of 17 million mink and suspended production at least until the end of 2021. The aid scheme consists of about 1.2 billion Euro to directly compensate mink farmers, while about 538 million Euro are used to support mink farmers and related businesses who are willing to give up production.
Thomas Pietsch, wildlife and fur expert at FOUR PAWS:
“One aspect we welcome is that aids are partly used to enable fur famers who want to exit the industry to shift to alternative business models. This is urgently needed as EU mink farms, apart from the obvious animal welfare problems on fur farms, are facing enormous economic challenges as well. Revenues from low pelt prices often did not even cover the production costs – further indication that the fur industry is facing its downfall. However, it has been shown that fur farms pose serious human health threats in the context of COVID-19 and potential future zoonoses, therefore compensation is not a sufficient response. Now is the time to end this dangerous and cruel industry. The European Commission needs to take the appropriate steps towards a sustainable solution. After the immediate approval of the Danish state aid by the Commission, further measures to protect people and animals from mink-related pandemic risks must follow. Moreover, fur is a completely unnecessary luxury product that is also being rejected by more and more consumers. To protect the public and prevent animal suffering, FOUR PAWS is calling for an EU-wide end of fur farming.”
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