On behalf of the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European Commission has provided an answer to MEP Jeppe Kofod (S&D), who on 30 September 2015, put forward questions regarding the breeding of mink for use in the fur production. Jeppe Kofod, who holds one of the seats as Vice-Chair in the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, has publicly criticized the housing systems in mink farming and suggested the introduction of swimming water for mink.
In its answer to Jeppe Kofod the European Commission highlights Fur Europe’s science-based animal welfare programme WelFur, that is based on the principles of the European Commission’s Welfare Quality project.
“We are satisfied with the European Commission taking a science-based approach to animal welfare. Too often the public debate over human use of animals becomes emotional, or animals are considered through a Disney-filter, but scientific research is the only way to obtain the knowledge that means something to the animals themselves, namely how they experience their own life,” says Head of Public Affairs at Fur Europe, Mette Lykke Nielsen.
WelFur is developed by independent scientists from seven European universities and considers all existing scientific literature on animal welfare in fur farming including literature on swimming water and other issues related to natural behaviour. You can read more about these welfare subjects for farm mink here.
The actual WelFur protocol for farmed mink is available here.