Animal welfare is at the heart of fur farming
Animals are farmed for many reasons: for meat, dairy, leather, wool, sheepskin, cashmere, silk and fur. It is the responsibility of those who farm animals to ensure that the animals in their care are treated humanely. This responsibility is taken very seriously by fur farmers.
85% of fur sold internationally is farmed. Fur animals have been selectively bred for over 100 years and are not the same as their wild counterparts. Not only are there laws, regulations and industry codes of practice and farm certification programmes that govern animal welfare on fur farms, but an animal’s health shows in its fur first - so it is in everyone’s interest to look after animals well. Well over two thirds of fur sold internationally comes from EU countries and North America, the rest comes from countries such as Argentina, China, Ukraine and Russia. Animal welfare is at the heart of fur farming and in every jurisdiction there are laws or regulations governing animal welfare. Farmers themselves encourage governments to implement animal welfare regulations which are based on scientific research and in the major fur farming countries farmers work with veterinary scientists to create voluntary standards and certification programmes – for example the Welfur programme in the EU. Fur farmers support ongoing academic animal welfare research including research into the best food, cage conditions and veterinary care for farmed fur animals.
Fur farming is an important part of local agricultural economies. Fur farms are particularly suited for remote northern climates where arable land is at a premium and a great many fur farms support families and communities in rural areas where the climate and environment make it difficult to farm many species. Fur farms are often passed down from generation to generation along with the special skills needed. Fur farmers are proud of their tradition and of their animals.