Intruders on two fur farms cause suffering to animals and acute animal disease risk

12.10.2018
Two of ProFur’s member farms were infiltrated by a British journalist and activists in early October. The intruders caused stress and suffering as well as an animal disease risk to animals. Fur breeders have reported the offences to the police and ProFur has also taken action.
The first intrusion offence took place in Ostrobothnia (1 October) and the second in Southern Ostrobothnia (2 October).
 
The people involved in the secret filming trespassed onto the farms at night, causing stress and possible disruptive behaviour among animals through their actions. The intruders also caused an acute animal disease risk on the mink farm in Ostrobothnia. The activists violated farm hygiene regulations also in Southern Ostrobothnia.
 
Parties engaging in criminal activity against a legitimate source of livelihood obviously do not know or seem to care about the safety precautions related to animal diseases. They think that their actions will benefit the animals but, since they are clearly not familiar with fur animal breeding, they end up doing exactly the opposite.
 
“My farm has been free of plasmasytosis, but the intruders caused real disease risks,” says a farmer from Ostrobothnia. Plasmasytosis is a virus that spreads easily among minks and other mammals in the weasel family.
 
“On the security camera tapes, you can see flashlights blinking at 1 a.m. Animals become distressed when they see strangers, not to mention a flashlight pointed to the face,” says a farmer from Southern Ostrobothnia.
 
Both entrepreneurs have stated that they feel distressed due to the secret filming case.
 
Both of the farms involved have valid Finnish Standards Fox/Mink/Finnraccoon certification and both farms have been inspected according to this certification programme.
 
Official veterinarians and ProFur’s own veterinarians have inspected both farms. A municipal veterinarian visited the second shed area on the farm in Southern Ostrobothnia on the day of the intrusion, on 2 October, and the farm at Ostrobothnia on 5 October, as a separate request due to the intrusion. The farms received no complaints. There are more than 12,000 minks on the farm in Ostrobothnia and 2,000 foxes and Finnraccoons on the farm in Southern Ostrobothnia.
 
The intruders reported seeing four dead minks and some animals with wounds on the farm in Ostrobothnia. The intruders also reported that they witnessed cannibalism between a couple of minks. On the other farm, the intruders reported seeing oversized foxes and foxes with wounds or, for example, eye and leg problems.
 
Minks become distressed by intruders and flashlights and may become aggressive towards each other. Sudden eye infections or wounds can also occur between care and feeding rounds despite careful animal husbandry.
 
“Although responsible fur farmers are doing their best, it is possible that some of the thousands of production animals can suddenly fall ill. Four dead animals out of the 12,000 animals on the mink farm on the date of the secret filming equals  0.033% mortality, which is below the typical figures in the production animal sector,” says Association’s veterinarian Johanna Korpela.
 
The cand breeders have an action programme for restricting fox growth that was prepared in 2017. The programme includes, for example, a body mass index (BMI) measurement for blue foxes as a guide to breeding. Furthermore, for a long time already, the foot health of foxes has been one of the key priorities in breeding and guidance work.
 
ProFur condemns the activist intrusions and the causing of harm to production animals that are being responsibly cared for.
 
Read more about the experiences of fur breeders and secret filming on “The other side of the coin” website at: www.theothersideofthecoin.fi
 
For further information, please contact
Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association - ProFur:
Johanna Korpela, Veterinarian, +358 50 464 8834
Olli-Pekka Nissinen, Communications Director, +358 50 306 2374