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Damning EU report on fur farm
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According to the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare, a European Union body, animals raised for fur production are kept and killed under shocking conditions. The committee has assessed the consequences of life in captivity, species by species. The report is damning. It was made public in 2001.

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Euthanasia

The committee focused on the way that the animals are slaughtered. The report is absolutely explicit - procedures employed are cruel. The scientists pointed out that, "Killing of animals kept for fur production should only be carried out with humane methods." In other words, this is definitely not the case at the moment. Currently the animals are most often gassed or electrocuted and they do not die a rapid death.

Ulcers


Before they come to this sad end, the animals have to suffer degrading conditions of captivity. Minks, for example, end up with stomach ulcers because they become so stressed. Irrational behaviour is extremely frequent. This manifests itself in various forms and can even include self-mutilation. Why? Quite simply because they live in unsuitable cages that are too small. Furthermore, the report notes that, "farmed minks like to be able to swim". But they hardly ever have the opportunity to do so.

The "breeders" are not concerned, of course, even though this can fall back on them. Farmed minks have great difficulty in reproducing. According to the report, "The death rate in mink kits can be up to 30%", with a 2-5% adult mortality.

Self-mutilation


Foxes are treated no better. They are also deprived of physical activity. There are none of their beloved tunnels in the narrow cages. So they also perform acts of self-mutilation. They are especially terrified of human beings. Once again, the young death rate is above normal. Chinchillas are kept in inadequate cages and hurt themselves every time they try to jump.

Prescribed measures


In view of the situation, the scientific committee recommends a whole gamut of measures. If applied, they would realistically see the end of the torture farms. It is stipulated that, "farmers [...] should be authorised to keep animals for fur production only if properly trained in all aspects of their biology, welfare and management." They should also keep an up-to-date register of all illnesses encountered on the farm, along with the rate of mortality. Their farms "should be inspected at least once a year".

The report also states that cages should be completely re-designed so as to ensure a necessary level of comfort. The scientists also felt it necessary to offer advice such as making sure that wounded animals are treated, as this is not obvious to the farmers apparently. Lastly, they also recommended that animals no longer be taken from the wild.

Marie SIGAUD
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