A recent poll shows majority of the Finnish population are in opposition to current fur farming practices. Only a mere 17 per cent of the people questioned are in favor of allowing the production of fur to continue without new restrictions. The number has reduced by 10 percentage points since 2012, when Finland’s second largest daily newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus last commissioned a poll on the matter.
39 per cent of the canvassed persons agreed that the only way fur farming should be allowed to continue is if the animals are allotted noticeably more space and possibilities to behave in species-specific manner. In practice this would mean banning modern fur farming altogether.
The questionnaire revealed that 30 per cent of the respondents wish to end fur farming in full within a set transition period. This shows a whopping 12 percentage points increase compared to the 2012 questionnaire. In all, 69 per cent of Finns are in favor of either a full ban or noticeable changes in current practices.
People have increasingly negative views on fur production
In recent years, fur farming has been banned in several countries around the world. An increasing number of designers and brands are making declarations to go fur-free. These transitions indicate how both citizens and the market have a new attitude when it comes to fur. European polls show how most people have increasingly negative views on fur farming. For instance, in Sweden the number of people opposing fur farming is 78 per cent and in Norway 68 per cent. A recent study from Ireland demonstrated that 80 per cent of Irishmen are in opposition to fur farming.
The results from Finland confirm that Finns have also had enough of the unethical business in its current form.
“Finland is in the middle of a massive animal welfare law reform, and parliamentary elections are waiting right around the corner. The fact that many Finns oppose modern fur farming sends a strong message. How will our politicians react to the views of the people? The species most commonly held at Finnish fur farms are foxes, minks and Finnish raccoons. They are kept in very small cages, but Finns reckon the animals are deserving of more space and other prerequisites of species-specific behavior”, says Mai Kivelä, Animalia’s Executive Director.
European countries are banning fur farming
One European country after the other is pulling the brakes on fur farming, the latest additions to the list being Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. In several countries –for instance in Poland, Lithuania and Estonia – proposals on fur farm ban are moving forward through parliamentary processes. In Norway, the introduction of a fur farming ban has been included in the governmental program.
“It is a high time to include fur farming in Finnish societal debates. The issues haunting the fur industry cannot be wiped under the rug time after time. No matter how many certificates the industry comes up with, you cannot make fur farming ethically sustainable. A number of countries, fashion designers and clothing companies have already reached this conclusion. Majority of people would agree that fur production cannot be continued in its current form. The attitude shift indicated by the recent poll shows Finland will be next”, comments Veikka Lahtinen, Animalia’s Campaign Coordinator.
The questionnaire in Finland was commissioned by Animalia and carried out by Taloustutkimus Oy in November 2018. 1,000 Finns were canvassed.