EUROPEAN CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE FUR FREE EUROPE
Animals on fur farms live in intense confinement, in row upon row of small barren cages. They suffer from self-mutilation, infected wounds, missing limbs and cannibalism. Fur farming contravenes even the most basic concept of animal welfare.
The European Citizens’ Initiative “Fur Free Europe” calls on the EU to:
- Ban fur farms
- Ban farmed fur products from the European market
European Commission Response
On 7 December 2023 the European Commission published an official response to Fur Free Europe. They propose a possible prohibition of fur farming and placement of farmed fur products on the European market, or alternatively other measures, after evaluation of the EFSA opinion to be put forward by March 2025. Watch this space for further updates!
Fur Free Europe closed on 1 March 2023 with 1,701,892 signatures of support from European citizens. On 14 June 2023, the Member States validated 1,502,319 signatures, making Fur Free Europe the most successful European Citizens' Initiative for animals ever!
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Follow Fur Free Europe on Instagram to look back at our incredible achievements and stay up-to-date with the process.
Read the report
Our Fur Free Europe Report explores why we need to ban fur farming and the placement of farmed fur products on the European market, from a public health, legal, environmental and ethical perspective.
Why ban fur farming and farmed fur products?
The complex behavioural needs of wild animal species, such as foxes and mink, that are farmed for fur cannot be met in fur farms. Keeping animals in small cages and killing them solely, or mainly, because of the value of their fur cannot be legitimised for domestic species like rabbits and chinchillas either. Fur farming is unethical no matter where it occurs, and so we also call for a ban on selling fur derived from intensive fur production.
Fur farms pose a risk to animal and human health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of mink farms were affected by coronavirus outbreaks, and new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus were found to have been transmitted to humans from animals.
Fur farming has a significant environmental impact and it poses a serious threat to native biodiversity. Having escaped from fur farms, the American mink is now widespread throughout the EU and has caused significant adverse impacts on European native wildlife. The dressing and dyeing of fur involves the use of toxic chemicals. In terms of land pollution by toxic metals, fur dressing and dyeing is ranked in the top five highest pollution-intensity industries.
Fur farming and its products should become a bad memory from the past: now it’s time for a Fur Free Europe. There is an unprecedented opportunity to make it happen in the European Union:
- The fur industry is facing an economic and animal health crisis due to COVID-19.
- 12 EU countries have recently called on the European Commission to investigate options for the permanent prohibition of fur farming in the EU and to present a legislative proposal to achieve this goal.
- The European Commission is currently reviewing the EU’s animal welfare legislation. This revision presents an opportunity to introduce a ban on both the production and trade of farmed fur.
- Hundreds of brands have gone fur free, responding to the ethical demands of their customers.