Minks in a cage


The breeding of fur animals as well as trapping them in the wild to produce fashion or luxury items is cruel, unethical and unnecessary


The global fur trade is big business and worth around US$ 22 billion.1 Despite the tsunami of brands pledging to steer clear of fur, and the huge risks the fur industry brings to containing virus outbreaks like COVID and avian influenza, brands such as Fendi and Max Mara continue to sell it all around the world. Fur is also an incredibly cruel business that sees millions of foxes, minks, raccoon dogs, rabbits and other species kept in horrific conditions and brutally slaughtered for their fur every year. 

95% of fur comes from animals that have suffered their entire lives in factory farms where they experience horrific cruelty and extreme stress, fear and suffering throughout their short lives.  

  • Small, dirty, and barren cages make it impossible for animals to move freely and to express their normal behaviour.
  • Deformities are common and wounds are left untreated and quickly become infected.
  • Out of stress and frustration, animals display stereotypical and abnormal behaviours such as repetitive movements, fur chewing and self-injury. 
  • Handling methods include beating, strangling, and dragging animals.
  • Cruel slaughter methods include gassing, electrocution, breaking the neck and in the worst case skinning animals alive.
  • Selective breeding of ‘monster foxes’ for pathological obesity to maximise the size of their pelt.

For those animals trapped in the wild, the horrific use of steel-jaw leghold traps, body-gripping traps, underwater traps, and wire neck snares inflict extreme pain and suffering to animals. Animals may suffer for days, or die through blood loss, thirst, starvation, or predation before the hunter returns to check on the trap.  

Fox suffering in a fur farm in Finland

Fox suffering in a fur farm in Finland

All so that someone can wear their fur. 

All this suffering is completely indefensible. It is also completely unnecessary. 

But there is hope. 

What are we doing?

FOUR PAWS was born out of a determination to end fur farming – and this determination has only grown. Together with an alliance of animal welfare organisations, FOUR PAWS has launched a European Citizen Initiative: 'Fur Free Europe'. The petition launched in May 2022 and closed early in March 2023 after collecting more than 1,502,319 validated signatures from EU citizens supporting a call for an EU-wide ban on fur farming as well as placing farmed fur, and products containing such fur, on the EU market.

Fur Free Europe is the 10th successful ECI since the tool was launched in 2012 and represents the most successful ECI for animal welfare, while being the third most successful overall.

ECI fur action in Vienna, Austria

FOUR PAWS continues to support the highly successful Fur Free Retailer program and, through our Wear it Kind programme, we are building a global movement of people, brands and designers committed to ensuring that no animal suffers in the name of fashion.

“Our organisation emerged when we opposed fur farms in Austria, more than a quarter of a century ago.” 

Heli Dungler, founder of FOUR PAWS

What You Can Do


1. Aloisi, S & Skydsgaard, N 2020, ‘Flying fur prices put fox is focus as mink cull sparks shortage, ‘Reuters, accessed 4 June 2021https://www.reuters.com/world/china/focus-flying-fur-prices-put-fox-focus-mink-cull-sparks-shortage-2020-12-14/ 

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