Sweden: The Horror of Sweden’s Fur Farms Exposed –
Take Action Now – Sample Letter and ContactsIncluded
2010 by Serbian Animals Voice
The Horror of Sweden’s Fur Farms Exposed –
Rights Alliance in Sweden have just released the shocking
results of their 18 month investigation in to the Swedish Mink Farming
Industry, including sick and injured animals, stereotypical behaviour and
details of the investigation can be found here:–
General Election in Sweden only weeks away, one of the major topics
of the election campaign is a potential ban on all fur farms in Sweden.
Please support the campaign to end fur farming in Sweden by emailing Swedish
Embassies worldwide to demand a complete ban on fur farming,
(Emails and Sample Letter below).
Rights Alliance reveals major animal abuse – Minks have been let down for 22
past year-and-a-half, the Animal Rights Alliance investigation unit has been
mapping out the Swedish fur industry. We have combed through environmental
inspection protocols, court documents and research reports and what’s more –
we have visited one-fifth of the 75 mink farms in Sweden to see them for
ourselves. We have discovered major environmental violations by an industry
that is already highly-criticized. Above all we have discovered the mink.
Clever, beautiful wild mink imprisoned in shed after shed, housing row after
row of small dirty cages. Mink that will never see any water beyond what
comes out of a water nipple, even though they are hunters that naturally
spend half of their life in water. Mink that express so-called stereotypical
behavior, endless repetitive motion without purpose, a feeble attempt at
dealing with stress and frustration.
We already knew that this would be the case. We were prepared for meeting
curious eyes behind bars from animals that are so psychologically-broken
that they incessantly circle their cages. We knew that it would be bad, but
reality on the farms was worse than we could have ever imagined.
We understood that the mortality rate would be high. Several reports show
that one out of every four or five animals die before they reach 6 months of
age. But we didn’t know how they die – and how they suffer. Now we know. We
have seen pups chewing on their dead littermates, entire litters where every
animals has had its ear bitten off; young animals with gaping wounds on
their heads; and fully-grown mink that twist and turn in agony, screaming in
panic from pain and illness that minutes later ceases but only with their
It has been terrible to see all of this without being able to do anything
about it. On our worst days, we felt completely powerless. But we’ve been
driven to continue toward our goal – to make public the horrific animal
cruelty that occurs on the farms. This animal cruelty cannot continue in
The fourth paragraph of the Animal Welfare Act clearly states that all
animals must be allowed to express their natural behaviours and that they
must be protected from unnecessary suffering. But Sweden continues to allow
mink to be bred and kept in mesh cages that are no bigger than 30 x 90
centimeters before being killed to produce an unnecessary luxury product
that nobody needs. In 2003, the Swedish Commission of Inquiry into the Fur
Industry gave Swedish fur farms until 2010 to comply with the Animal Welfare
Act. Seven years later we can conclude that the Swedish fur industry
has done nothing to improve conditions for mink on fur farms. It is
high-time that the fur industry is made history.
The Animal Rights Alliance
The Animal Rights Alliance is a not-for-profit campaigning
group that speaks for the animals. Founded in 2005, we have since then
brought about the criminalization of bestiality, organized five veggie food
conventions and exposed the Swedish pork industry through undercover
investigation. Our work for the animals is completely dependent on
donations, supporting members and active volunteers.
“Animals shall be kept and maintained in an environment that
furthers their good health and allows them to behave naturally”. –
Animal Welfare Act (1988:534), 4 §
We have filmed evidence of stereotypical behavior on thirteen
of the fifteen farms that we visited. The stereotypes, by which we mean
incessant repetitive motion that serves no purpose, is a feeble attempt by
the mink to deal with stress and frustration. It is a common symptom of an
animal’s natural needs not being met.
“The majority of mink show typical signs of derangement
that animals express when confined to areas that are too constrictive” –
Sverre Sjölander, Professor in Zoology.
“A sick or injured animal shall be given necessary medical attention, if the
illness or injury isn’t severe enough to justify the animal being put down
Animal Welfare Act (1988:534) § 9.
We have found sick animals with infected eyes and ear;
unconscious, convulsive and dead animals were found on two-thirds of the
farms. Maimed, bleeding animals with torn-off ears, large gaping head wounds
and missing limps were found on eleven of the fifteen visited farms. The
horrific injuries are the result of fights caused by crowding in shockingly
small cages – in the wild mink interact only to mate – but the injuries are
also oftentimes caused by self-mutilation. According to 2 § of the Animal
Welfare Act, animals are to be “treated well and are to be protected from
unnecessary suffering and illness”.
“If a cow becomes sick, then we’re called immediately.
But the mink are so many that if one animal becomes sick, then we’re not
called – the animal has too little economic value for the farmer. We only
get called if there is an epidemic. But every animal has an intrinsic value
and the Animal Welfare Act clearly states that if an animal becomes sick,
then it must be treated or euthanised. Large farms like mink farms have so
many animals that it can take time before illness is discovered”
– My Leffler, District Veterinarian who used to work on
ANIMALS IN THE CAGES
On 80% of the farms, we found dead animals in the cages – in most cases, the
carcasses were left among other living animals. In many cases, the carcasses
had been half-eaten by their mother and siblings.
“ In the natural world, it isn’t normal for a mink to
be forced to be around another dead mink. When it happens on a farm,
it can lead to cannibalism because they are so under stimulated and don’t
know how to react to the situation” – Mark Collins, Veterinarian
On 67% of the farms, we found cages where large amounts of faeces had piled
up, oftentimes in thick layers. Mink avoid their own feces so when the cage
fills up with waste, an already small space becomes even smaller.
Manure runoff could be documented at 80% of the farms. Mink manure contains
high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus and causes contamination of water and
soil if leaked out into the environment. Mink farms are therefore classified
as environmentally-hazardous operations. By law, manure must be stored in
such a way that it is sheltered from rain while preventing soil seepage.
HANDLING OF CARCASSES
“Carcasses awaiting transport shall be stored in such a way that disease
cannot be spread through contact with wild animals. The waste shall be
stored separate from living animals” – Board of Agriculture Regulations
2009:6, section K 14.
Dead mink that had been left to rot throughout and around the
farm property, or were otherwise disposed of improperly, were found on 73%
of the farms, even though all carcasses must be immediately removed and
stored, preferably frozen. Many carcasses had been left to rot for at least
6 months, since the pelting season last November.
We have documented cannibalism on half of the farms. Mink females that kill
their young and littermates that kill and eat one another is more the rule
than the exception. Cannibalism is caused by stress and lack of stimulation.
The mink have no release for their hunting instincts and those mink that
fall victim to attack have no possibility to take flight or cover in their
“Animals on fur farms have high levels of stress and this can
cause cannibalism” - My Leffler, Veterinarian.
Emails; (6 Blocks of 20):–
For the attention of the Government of Sweden,
writing to you today to express my horror at the shocking animal
welfare standards on Swedish mink farms that have been exposed in a recent
investigation conducted by the Animal Rights Alliance in Sweden.
details of their investigation can be found here:–
sure you will be aware, in 2003 the Swedish Commission of Inquiry
into the Fur Industry gave Swedish fur farms until 2010 to comply with the
Animal Welfare Act (1988:534), however seven years later we can conclude
that the Swedish fur industry has done absolutely nothing to improve
conditions for mink on fur farms in that time!
evident that the Fur Industry and Animal Welfare are completely
incompatible, and therefore I urge you in the strongest possible terms to
ensure that both the Swedish Animal Welfare Act (1988:534) is properly
enforced and that the decision of the Swedish Commission of Inquiry into the
Fur Industry is acted upon.
YOUR NAME / YOUR COUNTRY
CAMPAIGNS - Global Animal Welfare Issues,
GENERAL NEWS - International / National / Regional,
PHOTOGRAPHS - **WARNING** (Animal Suffering),
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