Fox farming in Europe: Investigation on Polish fur farm reveals dark reality for foxes


Fox farming in Europe: Investigation on Polish fur farm reveals dark reality for foxes

15 February 2023
Essere Animali
A new investigation released by Essere Animali has documented the conditions for foxes farmed for their fur in Europe. Foxes were shown to be confined in cramped and dilapidated individual cages, with poor access to food and water and without any enrichment.
The footage was obtained in February 2023 in Poland, Europe's leading country for mink breeding for fur production and second for fox breeding, after Finland.

The videos collected in Poland by Essere Animali show:

● Foxes with stereotypical behaviour compulsively circling inside individual battery-operated cages, banging against the metal walls;

● Dirty, bare battery cages with no environmental enrichment;

● Cages with a floor made entirely of wire mesh, totally unsuitable for the animals and a source of additional pain to the paws;

● Poor systems for watering and feeding the animals: in the cages, the only way to water the animals is a single iron cup per animal and almost all the cups were empty when they entered the farm;

● A fox with health problems in its muzzle and mouth, which had very swollen gums due to hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis: this is a genetic disease that affects foxes selected for fur production and makes their condition much worse due to unhealthy life on farms. It often results in the premature slaughter of the animals.

Fur Free Europe is already a record-breaking initiative, demonstrating people's sensitivity on this issue, but it is still important that thousands of citizens sign the European Citizens' Initiative, thus showing the European Commission how urgent it is to legislate to protect these animals and ban the production, import and trade of fur in Europe. In these farms, all natural behaviours are denied to the animals, in no way different from our pets, and we cannot but ask ourselves if ethically we can still accept this. Our answer is obviously no: in a world in which we have so many more sustainable alternatives to animal furs and numerous brands that have decided to abandon fur, it is time to turn the page for good and also show manufacturers a better and more futuristic path, free of animal exploitation.
Brenda Ferretti - Campaigns Manager, Essere Animal

The documented conditions show the extreme and repressive confinement to which foxes are subjected. These animals have a complex social life in the wild, form pairs and family groups, and are used to digging dens with numerous tunnels and moving in a very large radius. Red foxes are able to walk up to 10 km a day, while arctic foxes in migratory seasons cover up to 100 km in a single period.

All of this is denied on farms, which do not guarantee any possibility for animals to express their natural behaviour.

The investigation is part of the Fur Free Europe European Citizens’ Initiative, which in just over nine months has collected more than 1.5 million signatures from European citizens who want to see an end to cruel, unnecessary and unethical fur production.

The signature collection will continue until 1 March 2023. Do you support this initiative? Sign now