Fur industry under attack, again

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Norway’s fur (pels) industry was fending off another barrage of criticism on Monday, after Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) showed new footage of animals suffering in their cages at unidentified fur farms. One leading veterinarian called for the entire industry to be shut down.

Dr Hans Petter Bugge told NRK on Monday that in his opinion, the future of the fur business needs to be reevaluated. “The veterinarians’ association has gone public and said that today’s forms of operations can’t be reconciled with good animal welfare,” Bugge said.

NRK broadcast pictures taken during secret inspections of fur farms carried out in the dark of night by animal rights activists. The pictures showed animals being raised for their fur that had their tails and legs chewed off, with neurological disorders and with fur chewed off their necks. Many of the animals had large, open sores that veterinarians reviewing the photos said must be extremely painful.

Industry representatives were quick to protest against what they called a “one-sided, incorrect” picture of the Norwegian fur business. While admitting there were some rogue operators, they insisted that the majority take good care of their animals, have reduced crowding in cages and try to keep the animals active.

Lars Peder Brekk, the government agriculture minister who also is responsible for fur farmers, was meeting on Monday with industry representatives and demanding once again that they weed out the rogue operators and better control the business.

Brekk also said the state was considering withdrawing its economic support for the industry, until its track record improves.

Bugge said a far better system of state inspections is needed, in which surprise visits would be made and better animal health care programs put into place.

Views and News staff