The WelFur project was initiated by the European Fur Breeders’ Association in 2009, and the protocols for farmed species (fox and mink) were eventually published in 2013 and 2014. The protocols serve as manuals for the farm assessors.
WelFur is developed by independent assessors from seven European universities. The system works as a farm level certification scheme that incorporates various angles on animal welfare including farm management, species-specific behaviour, housing and feeding. Wherever possible so-called animal indicators are used to measure the animal welfare. Animal indicators differs from the way animal welfare typically is being assessed today, because animal indicators looks at the animals themselves rather that for example if the cage holds a certain size. Popularly speaking, animal indicators are the indirect way to ask the animals how they are, since we are unable to speak with them directly. WelFur is based on the principles of the European Commission’s Welfare Quality project, and as far as animal welfare assessment goes, WelFur is the most comprehensive system in the world to be implemented on a continental scale.WelFur information brochure [PDF 810.5 Kb]