European citizens made it clear: it’s time for a Fur Free Europe
1 March 2023
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) Fur Free Europe closes earlier than its official deadline thanks to a record number of signatures collected. In less than ten months more than 1.7 million citizens signed to end this cruel practice, sending a strong message to the European Commission (EC).
Fur Free Europe was launched in May 2022 by Eurogroup for Animals and received the support of more than eighty organisations from all around Europe. The ECI calls for a ban on fur farming and on the placement of farmed fur products on the European market.
Successful from the get go, Fur Free Europe collected 50,000 signatures on its launch day and now, 2,5 months before its official closing deadline, 1,701,892 signatures have been collected, offering a safe margin for the achievement of 1 million validated signatures. The ECI also successfully reached the signatures threshold in twenty one Member States, three times the minimum requirement of seven Member States.
The decision to close the ECI earlier has been taken due to the potential impact that it could have on the upcoming revision of the EU animal welfare legislation, as part of the EC’s Farm to Fork Strategy.
By the end of 2023, the EC will publish a proposal aimed at improving the EU’s animal welfare legislation to align it with the latest scientific evidence. While it’s possible to improve welfare standards for domesticated animals, science has clearly shown that this is not possible for wild animals on fur farms. Consequently, a ban on fur farming should be included in the proposal.
Moreover, since imports of animal products should follow EU standards, the ECI also calls for a ban on placing farmed fur products on the European market. Indeed, the organisers didn’t want to export cruelty to third countries but aimed to definitively end the suffering created by the fur industry in Europe.
I could not be prouder of our joint efforts. This citizens initiative gained momentum from day one and proves that European citizens, represented by all the organisations involved, are sending a crystal clear message to the European Commission: it’s high time for a Fur Free Europe. Fur farming represents a massive moral blind spot and, with the new animal welfare legislation coming up, the EC has the opportunity to end this unnecessary suffering once and for all.
Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals
It’s exciting to see that Fur Free Europe didn’t need the full available year to collect the required signatures, proving that the issue is clearly a priority for European citizens. After the validation process is over, the Parliamentary one will start. As chair of the Fur Free Europe working group at the European Parliament, I am honoured to lead the process and make sure that citizens demands are heard and we can finally put an end to fur in Europe.
Anja Hazekamp MEP (Party for the Animals, NL) chairwoman of the Fur Free Europe working group, Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals
More info: Fur Free Europe | Eurogroup for Animals