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‘Anti-fur’ Policy and the European Paradox: Towards a Ban on Fur Farming in the European Union?


AUTHOR: Sabine Brels, PhD student at the Laval university on animal welfare protection in the world, grant of the Canada Vanier scholarship for Postgraduate Studies.
TITLE: 'Anti-fur' Policy and the European Paradox: Towards a Ban on Fur Farming in the European Union?

PUBLICATION PLACE : dA web Center, June 2012.


Animal welfare is an important objective of the European policy. Since the 1970', several protection instruments were adopted in numerous domains and particularly concerning fur. In order to forbid products stemming from methods considered as "cruel", the European Union adopted several embargos (or import ban) on seal furs, cat and dog furs from China and furs from leghold traps. Nevertheless, this "anti-fur" policy on the international scene hides a paradox: the European Union is the world’s largest producer of factory farmed fur. While the European Union fight against the methods of hunting, capture and production of fur outside its borders, it holds thousands of fur farms in which methods of detention and killing are also recognized as extremely cruel. Aware of these ethical problems, the European Commission wishes to find solutions. Therefore, it would be desirable to ban fur farming in the European Union. This option seems even more possible that the European countries are more and more numerous to adopt ban and restriction measures concerning these farms. Finally, such a ban would offer the advantage to reach both an objective of coherence of Community law and answer the increasing demand from the European citizens for a more ethical treatment of animals.

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