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18 May 2022
Eurogroup for Animals, along with its members and other organisations, today supported the launch of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Fur Free Europe: in one year they will have to collect one million signatures to finally end fur in Europe.
The Fur Free Europe ECI calls on the EU to ban fur farming and the placement on the market of farmed fur products, since fur is unethical, unsafe and unsustainable:
- The complex behavioural needs of wild animals cannot be met in fur farms: keeping them in small cages and killing them solely, or mainly, because of the value of their fur cannot be legitimised for domestic species either.
- Fur farms pose a risk to animal and human health, as proved during the COVID-19 pandemic, when hundreds of mink farms were affected by coronavirus outbreaks, and new variants of the virus were transmitted from animals to humans.
- Fur farming has a significant environmental impact since the dressing and dyeing of fur involves the use of toxic chemicals. In terms of land pollution by toxic metals, fur production is ranked in the top five highest pollution-intensity industries.
The fur industry also poses a serious threat to native biodiversity, with some farmed species, like American mink and raccoon dogs, which escaped from fur farms and are now considered Invasive Alien Species (IAS) causing significant adverse impacts on European native wildlife.
At a meeting of the Council of the European Union (Agriculture and Fisheries) the Netherlands and Austria tabled an information note, supported by Belgium, Germany Luxembourg and Slovakia, calling on the European Commission to ban fur farming. The call to end fur farming in the EU on the grounds of animal welfare, public health and ethical considerations, was backed by a total of twelve Member States during the deliberations on this paper.
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.
We have an unprecedented opportunity to finally put an end to this cruel and unnecessary practice. European citizens have been asking for it for a long time, and their wishes started changing the fashion system, with many historic brands going fur free. Last year’s AGRIFISH Council proved that now there is also a political will. We call on the public to help us make history and ban fur once and for all, and on the European Institutions to support the public demand.
Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals
The ECI Fur Free Europe
The European Commission Implementing Decision on the Fur Free Europe ECI