The state and the citizens together against breeding animals for fur manufacture

According to the latest research, 88% of the citizens of Serbia supports the decision of the state to prohibit breeding and killing fur animals for fur manufacture starting from January 1, 2019. In the last decade, this support has grown by nearly 20 percent!

Citizens’ support for this decision of the state, which ORCA has been advocating for a decade and a half, continues to grow, as evidenced by the results of a survey conducted by Ipsos Strategic Marketing during January 2019, at ORCA’s request.  According to this survey, as many as 88% of Serbian citizens support the prohibition of breeding and killing animals for fur manufacture, which is nearly 20% more than in 2010, when the public opinion was  surveyed for the first time. The survey showed that there are almost no differences in citizens’ opinions in relation to gender, education, place of residence (urban or rural environment).  Moreover, the percentages are very similar when data from the territory of Vojvodina, Belgrade and narrow Serbia are observed.

Although the breeding and killing of animals solely for fur manufacture is legally prohibited from January 1, 2019, fur industry representatives continue to seek, by lobbying to the politicians, to abolish this decision and thus enable the survival of an industry that is abolished in many European countries due to economic and environmental reasons.

“The obvious change in public awareness on this issue and understanding of the reasons why it was important for the law to ban this activity are the result of years of efforts by ORCA, citizens, the media and numerous other organizations that have caused this legal ban to be introduced,” stated Elvir Burazerović, Director of ORCA, on this occasion.

We remind you that the prohibition of breeding and killing animals for the sole purpose of fur manufacture in Serbia was prescribed by the Law on Animal Welfare in 2009, and that its entry into force was postponed for 10 years so that those engaged in this activity could adapt their businesses. After the expiration of this deadline,  the decision of the state and the high support of the citizens to this decision, there is no room for further delaying the implementation of the law.

Let’s remind ourselves of the arguments

There are many reasons to abolish breeding and killing animals solely for the purpose of fur manufacture. They are mostly of an environmental and ethical nature.  It is impossible to industrially breed fur animals in a humane manner, and the amount of corpses and dangerous chemicals which are used in this industry permanently pollute the environment. It’s necessary to kill as many as 100 chinchillas in order to make one square meter of a quality fur coat. In addition to this, given the very small number of farms, of which even fewer are operating profitably, it is difficult to talk about any economic benefits to the state.  One of two major companies that deal breeding of these animals from 2010 to 2014 paid only 607,000 RSD into the budget!

Having these facts in mind, as well as the growing worry of the public for the welfare of these animals, but also the negative ecological impact of the fur industry, the tendency to abolish this “filthy” industry around the European continent is evident. Breeding animals for fur manufacture is prohibited in the following countries: Great Britain (2000), Austria (2004), Slovenia (2013), North Macedonia (2014), Croatia (2018), Luxembourg (2018), Czech Republic (2019).  In addition to this, the following countries have adopted bans which will come into force in the next couple of years: Belgium (2023), the Netherlands (2024), Norway (2025) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2029).

At the same time, some European countries have prescribed rigorous conditions for this occupation and in that way led to the fact that fur animals are no longer bred in those countries (Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Spain). In 2017 Germany adopted very strict rules regarding fur animals breeding and it is expected that in 2022 the industry will be completely shut down because it won’t be profitable.

Let’s remind ourselves of the campaign “Don’t skin them!”

The campaign for prohibition of breeding and killing animals for fur manufacture “Don0t skin them!” was launched in 2003 and was intensively led until 2009 when the Law on Animal Welfare was adopted which prescribed this prohibition, and postponed its application until 2019. In the meantime, there were several unsuccessful attempts to abolish this prohibition, which did not gain the support of the public or the government.