Fur farming has deep roots in the agricultural tradition and historical heritage of Europe. Nowadays, 50% of global fur production comes from this region, where 5,000 farms are located across 22 European countries.
In addition to national legislation, a wide range of EU legislation applies to fur farming, including strict regulations on killing methods, trapping, international trade and animal welfare.
Along with the control of the EU laws, Europe’s fur sector also voluntarily initiated the launch of the science-based welfare assessment programme WelFur in 2009.
Based on the principles of the European Commission’s Welfare Quality® project, WelFur will be fully implemented across all European fur farms associated with Fur Europe from 2017 onwards.
Its aim is to measure methodically animal welfare at the fur farms by setting 12 welfare criteria based on scientific research. These criteria reflect the four welfare principles established by the European Commission: Good Housing, Good Feeding, Good Health and Appropriate Behaviour.
WelFur is a welfare assessment programme developed by independent scientists at 7 European universities, who produced welfare assessment protocols for fur farmed species. The protocols serve as “manuals” for third parties by providing guidelines on how to assess the performance of fur farms concerning animal welfare.
In order to guarantee the transparency and reliability of the animal welfare standards on European fur farms, the sector is committed to making the assessment data available in the public domain.
By implementing the most advanced animal welfare assessment programme WelFur, European fur sector establishes the ambitious objective to create the highest standards in animal welfare, and therefore enhance the quality of the fur produced in Europe.
To fight the myths and prejudices about fur farming, farmers across the continent have also increased their efforts and desire to share more information about their agricultural activity. They have opened their farms for the public.
Open farms events provide people with the opportunity to see the conditions on fur farms with their own eyes. Every year, dozens of farms across Europe open their doors to the public. Contact the national fur breeders’ association in your country to find out when you can go.
For more information, please visit FUR EUROPE.