Three fur farms lose association certificates
Shortcomings found in inspections sparked by videos
The Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association (STKL) is punishing three fur farms found to have substandard conditions for their animals by revoking the association’s certificate of responsible raising of animals.
The farms were among those shown in videos released by the Oikeutta eläimille (“Justice for Animals”) organisation. The images were shot clandestinely at a number of Finnish fur farms, highlighting suffering and inadequate care for the animals.
The decision means that the farms in question will also lose the discounts that they are entitled to on fees charged by the auction company Finnish Fur Sales (FFS) - a move which could mean thousands of euros in losses for a medium-sized fur farm, says Pertti Fallenius, managing director of FFS.
The video material, showing serious shortcomings in animal welfare, was shot secretly, and shown on a current affairs television programme of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) about three weeks ago.
The images of extreme suffering of fur animals at the farms prompted both STKL and the Finnish Food Safety Authority (EVIRA) to conduct inspections on the farms in question.
The association’s own veterinarian inspected 28 fur farms, and shortcomings were found in six of them. Three of the farms had an STKL certificate.
At one of the farms losing its STKL certificate, fur foxes lacked a shelf inside the cage on which the animal could rest, and one of them had two animals per cage, contrary to current rules.
At one of the farms, an animal was found that would have needed immediate care, says the association’s executive director Tuula Dahlman.
The cancellation of the certificates is not necessarily permanent. The farms in question will be allowed to reapply next autumn at the earliest. No new certificates will be granted for the present sales season.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Animal rights group releases shocker video of fur farm conditions (18.2.2010)
Finnish Fur Breeders´ Association (STKL)
Veterinarian surprised at Prime Minister Vanhanen’s comments on fur-farm footage (2.3.2010)
Violations of regulations found on three Finnish fur farms (1.3.2010)
Agriculture Minister urges fur farmers to shape up (19.2.2010)
Finnish Fur Sales FFS