Veterinary Ireland recommends an immediate ban on the farming of mink, and other wild animals, for the production of fur
Veterinary Ireland has recommended an immediate ban on the farming of mink, and other wild animals, for the production of fur.
In a statement it said scientific evidence has been growing for many years indicating that the behavioural needs of mink and other wild animals, that are being farmed for their fur, are not being provided for by current methods of farming.
It said this failure to allow these animals to express normal behaviour is in direct contravention of the European Council Directives, which states that: "No animal shall be kept for farming purposes unless it can be reasonably expected, on the basis of its genotype or phenotype, that it can be kept without detrimental effect on its health or welfare."
'WelFur' is the European animal welfare scheme which has been developed in recent years to improve standards of welfare on European fur farms.
It is supported by Fur Europe, the organisation representing fur farmers in Europe.
Having reviewed the available evidence, Veterinary Ireland said it concluded that the WelFur programme cannot prevent the welfare problems regularly encountered on fur farms, such as stereotypies and serious injuries.
It has additionally concluded, given the nature of the animals concerned and the environment in which they are held, that there are simply no welfare standards or inspection regime that would prevent such problems arising on a regular basis.
"It is further clear that fur farms cannot provide for the five freedoms (or welfare needs) of mink, particularly in relation to the need to be able to express most normal behaviours," it said.