Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland
Helsinki 24 February , 2010
The Finnish authorities are taking very seriously accusations of poor treatment of animals on Finnish fur farms. The regional state authorities for the protection of animals have immediately begun inspections on farms where cases of neglect are suspected. Recent statistics on the regular official monitoring of fur farms show that the conditions in which animals are kept on Finnish fur farms meet the requirements under European and national legislation. Cases of neglect in 2009 were observed on only two farms out of the 49 inspected.
“There will always be a demand for fur in the world,” says Sirkka-Liisa Anttila, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. “In terms of animal protection, it is a good thing that a country with high standards of animal protection such as Finland should produce furs, which otherwise might be produced outside the EU in conditions that would be likely to be worse.”
“Fur farms are also very important to safeguard the viability of remote rural areas in western parts of Central Finland, where jobs are scarce,” says Minister Anttila.
The Finnish fur industry has, on its own initiative, produced and implemented a quality assurance system based on independent, external audits. One important component of this is safeguarding the welfare of the animals.
The transition period for the space requirements of cages where foxes and minks are kept to produce fur and ground nets in foxes’ cages is soon to expire. By 2010 all fox and mink cages have to comply with the requirements that took effect in 1999.
Further information available from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Riitta Heinonen, Deputy Director General, tel. +358 50 367 10 40
Jouni Lind, State Secretary, tel. +358 50 521 33 05
Matti Aho, Director General, tel. +358 40 516 98 57
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