On 26th November 2015, the report “The Case Against Fur Factory Farming – A Scientific Review of Animal Welfare Standards and WelFur” was presented in the European Parliament during the meeting of the Intergroup on Animal Welfare.
The report does not bring anything new into the debate over fur; the premise of the argumentation remains that fur farmed animals are not domesticated, and furthermore deprived of the opportunity to exercise natural behaviour in the existing housing systems and consequently suffer. However this conclusion is not supported by the available scientific research from independent universities across Europe.
Upon request Fur Europe gave the report’s author, Professor Stephen Harris, the WelFur protocols already in 2014. In spite of having more than one year to examine the WelFur protocols Mr. Harris fails to fulfil the report’s objective of doing a scientific review of WelFur. While the report’s very title suggests a scientific review of WelFur, the authors themselves admit this is not the case on the report’s page 46 that reads:
“It is beyond the scope of this report to give a detailed critique of the WelFur protocols”.
Over the years a large number of critical reports have been published about fur farming. Like other reports also “The Case Against Fur Factory Farming – A Scientific Review of Animal Welfare Standards and WelFur” is commissioned by an animal rights group, Respect for Animals, pursing a society free of any human use of animals.
Fur Europe’s animal welfare programme WelFur is however the most comprehensive animal welfare assessment system in the world to be implemented on a continental scale. It is developed by independent scientists from seven European universities and has been peer-reviewed for scientific validity and compliance with the principles of the European Commission’s Welfare Quality project.
Fur Europe distributed the below answer to members of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Animal Welfare on 10 December 2015.