Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur
At a major exhibition in the European Parliament (January 2018), the Fur Free Alliance and Eurogroup for Animals exposed the facts about how real fur is produced, and why more national bans on fur factory farming are needed in the EU.
This was a timely exhibition. It followed hot on the heels of major fashion houses, such as Gucci and Michael Kors, announcing fur free policies and Norway’s recent announcement that it will phase-out fur farming by 2025. The tide is turning against fur farming in Europe, as concerns about animal welfare, the impacts on biodiversity and the environment, and the ethics of fur continues to grow.
During the exhibition ‘Make Fur History’ , MEPs were asked to support fur farming bans in EU Member States where fur production is still permitted, and to sign a Fur Free Pledge . Various countries in Europe have already introduced fur farming bans (the United Kingdom, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, and the Republic of Macedonia) and/or are presently phasing-out fur farming (the Netherlands, Czechia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Norway). There are still significant animal welfare problems and ethical concerns associated with fur farming, so further action is still needed.
The three day exhibition confronted visitors with a series of striking photographs. It allowed them to immerse themselves into the shocking reality of the fur farming industry through a virtual reality experience.
Mark Glover, Vice-chairman of the Fur Free Alliance said, ‘‘Opinion polls from a number of European countries have consistently demonstrated that the majority of citizens consider breeding animals for fur unacceptable. This exhibition allowed us to reveal the reality on European fur farms, to present the facts about the animals bred and killed for their fur and to show why the fur industry belongs in the past. Although fur farming bans are becoming increasingly widespread, further action is needed.’’
The official opening of the exhibition was followed by a roundtable discussion with MEPs, decision makers and civil society. One of Europe’s largest fur farming countries, Poland, was well represented, where the anti-fur movement has increasingly been attracting a lot of attention.
Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals added, ‘We want to build awareness among EU decision makers of the need for national bans, as well as the adverse effects of fur farming on animal welfare and the environment. We urge MEPs to sign the Fur Free Pledge, and aim for better enforcement of the Council Directive on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (98/58/EC) and the Council of Europe Recommendation Concerning Fur Animals. We believe that this legislation and set of recommendations, if adopted, would bring an end to this cruel industry.’’
With consumers and retailers turning their backs on the cruel and unnecessary fur trade, this exhibition was a valuable opportunity for European decision makers to keep pace with one of Europe’s fastest growing movements and make a positive change for animals.
Lucy Mathieson, Communications Officer, Eurogroup for Animals, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +32 (0) 2 740 08 25
Mark Glover, Vice-chairman of the Fur Free Alliance, Email: email@example.com, Tel: +44 (0) 7850 768 337
 The exhibition, which runs from 23rd -25th January 2018, is an opportunity to learn more about the large-scale damage caused by the fur industry, public opinion against fur, the impact on biodiversity and the environmental degradation, legislation already in place in Europe, the impact on local communities, the inadequacies of the fur trade’s WelFur scheme, the inhumane nature of slaughter methods, and welfare problems caused by battery cages, as well as the inadequacies of EU labelling. Factsheets available here. Photos from the exhibition here. Read our opinion piece in Euractiv here. Read about our joint collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance in our January magazine here (pages 10-13).