On a recent trip to the European Parliament in Brussels, we saw a stand in the lobby of the parliament promoting the fur trade. The stand was being run by Welfur, run by the European Fur Breeders Association. Our first reaction was to notice how well-funded the Welfur campaign must be to have rented that particular space and have such glossy leaflets. In order to try and show their product as glamorous, they also had racks of fur coats in the parliament lobby.
But instead of feeling despair that this campaign is clearly so well-funded and can afford to bring its campaign physically into Parliament, we realised how ineffective their messages actually are. There was an attempt to show that they are self-regulating and meeting certain standards of care for the mink and other animals they farm. A close examination of their materials shows that the 7200 fur farms they promote really have no place in Europe or indeed anywhere else in the world. Even their own photographs of animals in cages do nothing to put an ethical person’s mind at ease. The juxtaposition of their pamphlets about their farms alongside the racks of fur coats actually worked against their claims.
There is no getting away from it. Fur farming is cruel. Animals live in filthy and cramped cages on farms and they die by cheap and inhumane methods such as electrocution and gassing. Fur farm life is especially cruel for an animal as essentially wild as a mink – a carnivore who likes a solitary life and is driven to great stress by life on a factory farm. We do not need this cruel industry. There are so many natural and synthetic alternatives to fur. There is no need for this cruelty to take place in the name of warmth or fashion.
The United Kingdom banned fur farming. So did Austria and Croatia. Let’s see the end of fur farms across Europe. Sign our petition today.