Animal Rights Sweden Petitions for Immediate Ban on Fur Farms

Animal Rights Sweden is trying to collect 100,000 signatures on a petition to have the government ban fur farming immediately.

This follows an October 2003 report on fur farms by the government. That report claimed that animals were being kept in conditions that were inconsistent with Sweden’s 1998 Animals Protection Act. The report said that if fur farmers did not improve their care of animals by 2010,the government should look at partially or completely banning fur farms.

Fur farmers were generally pleased with the outcome of the report. Goesta Larsson, president of Sweden’s National Federation of Mink Farmers, told Agence France Presse,

We are satisfied that the report confirms something we have long known — our mink are doing fine.

Animal rights groups were angered at the reports call for giving fur farmers 7 or more years to improve conditions. Animal Rights Sweden issued a press release in October with quotes from two of its officers,

REPORT FROM STATE FUR COMMISSION A SET-BACK FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS

The government report on fur farming, presented in Sweden today, unveils serious problems with the implementation of the Animal Protection Act, adopted by the Swedish parliament in 1988. Animal Rights Sweden strongly objects to the recommendation to give fur farmers additional time until 2010 to comply with the Act.

Carina Olsson, Fur Campaign Manager, Animal Rights Sweden:

“The problems with stereotypical behaviour have been known for 15 years. Animal Rights Sweden have sent letter after letter to the Swedish Board of Agriculture calling attention to the problems and yet the report suggest that the farmers should be given more time to do research. I’m very disappointed and I think most people in Sweden feel the same way.

In Sweden there is a large public support for a ban on fur farming. More than 2/3 of the population between in the age of 18-29 support a ban. 37 of the largest department store chains in Sweden are now completely fur free. The managers of the stores have listened to the consumers. I expect the politicians to do the same.”

Per-Anders Svärd, President, Animal Rights Sweden:

“The majority of the members of the Swedish parliament unambiguously declared their intention to ban fur farming during the election campaign in 2002. The Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party considered this to be so important that they made it a part of their coalition agreement after the elections. They clearly stated that a ban on fur farming should be in place before the next parliamentary elections in 2006. There is nothing in the Fur commissions’ report or in the [sic] constiution that makes a ban impossible and we expect the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party to live up to their pre-election promises.”

Carina Olsson, Fur Campaign Manager, Animal Rights Sweden:

“To try to adjust the fur industry to the Animal Protection Act is not an option. Wild minks move over large areas and spend much of their time in water. The confined cage environment can never offer sufficient stimulation for their natural behaviour. We must keep in mind that 1.3 million animals are killed for their fur every year in Sweden, despite the fact that fur is a luxury product humans don’t need. Fur farming must be abolished as soon as possible.”

The group had hoped to obtain 100,000 signatures by January 30, but alas fell a bit short with only 18,843 signatures in its petition.

Sources:

Swedish mink farmers given deadline to improve conditions. Agence France Presse, October 10, 2003.

Report From State Fur Commission A Set-Back For Animal Rights. Press Release, Animal Rights Sweden, October 10, 2003.

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