Situation in Europe
There are huge differences between national regulations concerning fur-bearing animals. Globally, most fur-bearing animals are insufficiently protected, or not at all. Several European countries have introduced model regulations.
In 1999, the Council of Europe made a recommendation concerning fur-bearing animals in farms. Unfortunately, the recommendation is insufficient, as it continues to allow keeping animals in narrow cages. Wire mesh floors and a lack of climbing, digging or swimming opportunities are also tolerated.
In many European states, there are no further regulations for fur farms. However, several European countries are setting an example by protecting fur-bearing animals with strict national regulations:
- Austria and Great Britain have made fur farms illegal.
- Bulgaria has also banned the production of fur and the import and export of furs (furs, not products).
- The Swiss animal welfare law mandates that wild animals such as mink and foxes must be kept in the same conditions as in zoos. These requirements are so high that Switzerland no longer has any fur farms.
- In the Netherlands, keeping foxes and chinchillas for fur production is banned. Mink, the most important fur-bearing animal in the Netherlands, remain insufficiently protected.
- An animal welfare success: In the EU, the import and trade of seal fur, as well as dog and cat fur, is banned.