FUR FOX FARM IN STAWIEC, POLAND
Last Friday, 27th April 2012, after receiving a few disturbing photographs from an anonymous informer, Polish Animal Protection Society ‘Ekostraż’, in co-operation with members of the Coalition for Banning Fur Farming in Poland ANTYFUTRO.PL, assisted by the police, conducted an intervention on a fox farm in Stawiec (Poland, Lower Silesia). The following is a short presentation of the intervention, and of the conditions under which animals on that farm spend their entire lives, before they are killed for their skin.
All photos from the intervention can be found HERE
The foxes are kept in improvised containers made of old, rusty stoves and ovens, or in provisional cages that don’t provide any protection from sun and rain, or access to drinking water. The entire farm is unkempt and filthy, with massive heaps of foul smelling excrement directly below the cages. You can easily imagine what it feels like to be locked in a hot, metal oven during the summer, or not to have a roof upon your head. The animals spend the few months of their lives on extremely uncomfortable wire flooring, only to be killed in the same horrid conditions. As their flesh is not meant to be for human food, no one cares about any sanitary norms or standards.
The farm belongs in the legal jurisdiction of the District Veterinary Officer in Milicz. His deputy, Nataila Misiek, who was called out by the activists, denied conducting a routine control procedure, giving the excuse of not having the control protocol with her. Although, when the activists gave her a copy of the official protocol for veterinary inspections, previously printed and ready to be filled, she denied again and, despite their requests, didn’t give any reason for such decision. She claimed that she had been to the farm in the autumn and had even witnessed the slaughter. She described the conditions on the farm as ‘not particularly outstanding’. Ms Misiek was extremely unprofessional and showed signs of utter ignorance in the field of her own profession - she appeared to be unfamiliar with the Polish Animal Protection Act from 1997 (the activists were under the impression that she didn’t even know of the Act’s existence in Polish law).
This farm has been in existence for 30 years. The owner claims that he tries to provide his foxes with “decent” living conditions. He didn’t allow the activists to enter the farm, saying that ‘it’s not a zoo’ and the foxes (which are now in their breeding season) would be stressed. While the activists were talking to the owner, his employees tried to quickly hush up the most obvious and visible faults on the farm, for example by covering roofless cages with pieces of hardboard.
Although no one entered the farm, the photo and video material collected by the activists is enough to start legal procedures against the farm’s owner (animal abuse) and the veterinary officer (professional negligence). The Animal Protection Society ‘Ekostraż’ has filed a complaint to the prosecution and will try to obtain a court order to take away the animals and close the farm once and for all.
Poland is the world’s 4th largest fur producer with approximately 800 fur farms. Some of them are small like this one, but there are also huge, industrialised facilities, killing hundreds of thousands of animals (mainly foxes and minks) every year. The number still increases because, due to restrictions and bans on fur farming in Western Europe, farmers move their businesses to Poland and other Eastern countries. Although the conditions on some farms may be better than in Stawiec, animals on every fur farm suffer enormously, due to the unfulfilment of their species basic territorial needs as well as to physical and mental diseases. Their suffering and death is absolutely unnecessary and it’s caused only by human greed and vanity. Please don’t buy any fur ‘products’, react in cases of witnessing any animal abuse and support Polish activists in their fight for banning fur farming in Poland.
Further info and news soon at www.antyfutro.pl