An investigation into Finnish fox farms supplying the likes of Harrods and Fendi has uncovered animals with diseased eyes and missing ears in what’s being dubbed as “truly depressing.”
Global animal rights NGO, Humane Society International/UK tapped into three fox farms in Finland’s Ostrobothnia region, which were certified by the fur trade’s SAGA Furs association. The scheme assures “the highest level of animal welfare.”
And yet, what they discovered paints a very different picture.
Fox farm investigation
The organization took animal rights campaigning group Oikeutta Eläimille to the country, along with renowned vet Dr. Marc Abraham.
Part of what they saw were “monster foxes,” where animals are bred to be obese in order to maximize the volume of fur that can be harvested.
Kristo Muurimaa, of Oikeutta Eläimille, said: “I have visited more than a hundred fur farms across Finland and every single one is as horrific as the last.”
They also documented foxes bearing missing ears and deformed feet inside “barren” cages. Dr. Abraham noted what he saw as “truly depressing,” and “shameful”.
There were also clear signs of psychological trauma, he added.
In a statement sent to PBN, Dr. Abraham stressed: “It must be mental torture being denied the freedom to run and exercise in their natural woodland environment that they can clearly view surrounding their cages, which their instincts are telling them to explore 24/7.
“But to which, tragically, they will never have access during their short lives.
“The UK government assured us that after Brexit it would consider what could be done in terms of a UK fur sales ban. And observing such high levels of animal suffering on those Finnish fur farms leaves me in no doubt that right now is the time to make good on that promise.”
UK fur imports
Among the brands the Ostrobothnia farms supply are Fendi, Moncler, Harvey Nicholes, and more.
It comes as the UK imports almost 100 percent of its fox and raccoon fur from Finland. This is part of an £11 million industry, despite fur farming being banned in Britain for more than 20 years.
And it’s one that sees over 100 million animals killed for their fur every single year.
Humane Society International/UK’s executive director is Claire Bass. She commented: “Fur trade buzzwords about welfare ring incredibly hollow when you are staring into the eyes of an animal tormented by a life of deprivation for a frivolous fashion item that nobody needs.
“Most fashion-forward designers have gone fur-free because of the indefensible cruelty. But to those designers who still use fur. And to the UK government that still allows British businesses to trade in fur, our message is clear.
“It’s time to stop being complicit in this cruelty. It’s a clear double standard that the UK is outsourcing to countries like Finland the very same fur farm cruelty we banned here two decades ago.”