The proportion of those in favor of banning the industry has increased by four percentage points in the last two years.
More than a quarter, or 27 percent, of the respondents were of the opinion that fur farming is ethically acceptable and 33 percent that it should not be banned.
Most EU countries have banned fur farming in whole or in part. Austria, Germany and the Netherlands called for a group-wide ban on fur farms due to risks to animal welfare and public health at a meeting of agriculture and fisheries ministers in Luxembourg in June. While the proposal received support from 14 other member states, Finland was among the smaller group of member states opposing the ban.
“Animal health and well-being are a prerequisite for all sustainable animal production, including fur production. The fur industry, which acknowledges its responsibility, is responsible for its part in caring for and improving animal welfare, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah (CD) stated For Helsingin Sanomat in June.
“The welfare of fur animals can and should be improved based on the latest scientific information and best practices, without the need to ban the industry.”
Many member states have already banned the industry in their national legislation.
The fur industry has faced scrutiny and difficulties this summer after a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu was detected in several fur farms in Finland. The discovery has led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of fur animals, fearing that minks in particular can get bird flu and common flu at the same time and produce a recombinant virus that poses a serious threat to humans.
Helsingin Sanomat 31.8 wrote that attitudes towards fur farming vary significantly depending on the age and gender of the respondents. Women than men and young people are more likely than the elderly to consider the industry unethical and support its ban.
Supporters of the Green Party and the Left Alliance almost without exception believed that fur farming is unethical and should be banned. More than half of the supporters of the Social Democrats share their opinion.
About half of the supporters of the center, the Basic Finns and the Coalition took the opposite view that the industry should not be banned.
The problems in the industry are not only caused by public health, but also by financial sustainability. Finland’s two largest financial groups Nordea and OP Ryhamet practically no longer grant loans to fur farms due to low profitability and ethical and social reasons, Helsingin Sanomat reported on the 26th of August.
“When we weigh the risks associated with natural production, we look not only at economic indicators, but also at ethical and social perspectives,” said. Nina ArkilahtiDirector of Nordea’s corporate banking.
He reminded that the demand for furs is decreasing in the West.
“And for completely valid reasons. A business based on animal production, where only fur is used to make clothes, is not sustainable, he commented.
The number of active fur farms has collapsed from well over 4,000 in 1980 to 400 in 2022. Last year, 62 percent of companies in the industry reported a business loss. another report by the magazine.
Finland’s fur exports to two key market areas have been disrupted recently. Exports to China were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and exports to Russia by an export ban on luxury goods worth more than 300 euros due to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. The ban does not apply to raw hides, tanned furs or modified furs.
In recent years, the Finnish Fur Breeders’ Federation (Fifur) has been caught exaggerating the employment, export and tax effects of the declining industry. Statistics Finland confirmed in August 2022 that Fifur has counted the number of jobs in the industry twice by claiming that the industry directly employs 3,185 people.
The lobbying of the industry did not immediately correct the exaggerated figures YLE’s investigation report.
The industry actually employed slightly less than 1,600 people and produced products worth 64 million euros, which corresponds to less than a tenth of the value of Finland’s goods exports. The majority, 96 percent, of the value was created in the four counties of Ostrobothnia.
According to Helsingin Sanomat’s survey, 52 percent of the respondents believe that people who make a living from fur farming should be encouraged to take up other professions with public subsidies. Three out of ten expressed their opposition to the idea.
Respondents were also asked about their concern about reports of the spread of avian flu in fur farms: three percent said they were very concerned, 38 percent somewhat concerned, 37 percent that they were not particularly concerned. and 20 percent that they are not worried at all.
The study was carried out on 25–30 August Kantar Public.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page