A shocking investigation has revealed ‘monster foxes’ being bred on fur farms in Finland in deplorable conditions.
Footage from five fur farms across Ostrobothnia in western Finland show foxes with huge pelts and rolls of fat folded over their bodies and almost covering their eyes to increase the amount of fur on their bodies.
The animals can weigh up to five times their normal weight and become so bloated they can barely move in their cages.
Harrowing pictures shows over-sized animals with huge pelts and rolls of fat folded over their bodies
‘Monster foxes’ are being bred on fur farms in western Finland a shocking investigation has found
The foxes look almost unrecognisable as they were fattened up for the fur trade
Activists from the group Oikeutta eläimille (Animal Justice) said that in wild, female foxes weigh about 3.5 kilograms while a fox they photographed at the farm weighed more than 19 kilograms.
The group’s investigation found the devastating results of overbreeding by genetic selection. The foxes are also fed a diet with a very high fat content to grow as big as possible.
Shocking footage showed foxes struggling to move and with thick rolls of fur covering their eyelids, making them virtually unrecognisable as foxes.
Oikeutta eläimille said it is illegal in Finland to breed livestock in a way that causes animals to suffer.
It typically takes around 10 to 20 ‘normal’ foxes to make a fur coat but the animals are also used to make hats, gilets and trims for jacket hoods.
The group’s investigation found animals so overweight they struggled to move and with thick rolls of fur covering their eyelids
Foxes are being kept in deplorable conditions in fur farms in Finland it has been revealed
Claire Bass, executive director from leading anti-fur campaigning organisation Humane Society International/UK, condemned the fur industry’s genetic selection of suffering:
She said: ‘Just when you thought the fur industry couldn’t get any more unethical, it hits a shocking new low with foxes bred so large that these poor beautiful creatures can hardly move, or in some cases even see.
‘It is proof, if further proof were needed, that the fur industry is about profit and cares nothing for animal welfare. Consumers will be rightly shocked and disturbed by these hideous images, which underline yet again the need to turn our backs on fur for good.’
According to UK trade statistics, over the last five years more than £2.5million of fur articles have been imported into the UK from Finland.
Oikeutta eläimille said the skins of the ‘monster foxes’ in their investigation are sold under the Saga Furs brand
Activists from the group Oikeutta eläimille said that in wild, female foxes weigh about 3.5 kilograms while a fox they photographed at the farm weighed more than 19 kilograms
Campaigners said the foxes are fattened up as ‘bigger skin means more money for the fur farmer’
Despite the UK having banned fur farming in 2000 for being unethical, campaigners said it is still importing huge amounts of fur from other countries.
Kristo Muurimaa from Oikeutta eläimille said: ‘The conditions these animals are in is the result of greed for profits. Bigger skin means more money for the fur farmer. The animals pay the price with suffering.’
Oikeutta eläimille said the skins of the ‘monster foxes’ in their investigation are sold under the Saga Furs brand, and ended up in clothing manufactured by many luxury fashion houses.
On fur auctions, the pelts are divided into size groups. In the June auction at Saga Furs, the biggest size group (’60’) sold for an average prize of 86 euros, and size 40 sold for 56 euros.
They are sold in flagship boutiques of companies such as Louise Vuitton, Gucci and Michael Kors.
A spokesman for Respect For Animals told MailOnline: ‘The footage graphically shows the callous indifference of the fur trade to the suffering of animals in fur factory farms.
‘The obese foxes suffer horribly: obesity in farmed foxes is associated with high levels of bent feet, difficulty in moving and diarrhoea. Animals farmed in this way have bigger pelts. It’s that simple. These foxes are essentially wild animals, who crave to roam over a large territory but are instead condemned to a stressful life in a tiny cage before being anally electrocuted.
‘Respect for Animals produced a comprehensive report in 2015, which used the best animal welfare science to show that it is impossible for the welfare needs of foxes and mink to be met in fur factory farms.
‘Finland is by far the biggest ‘producer’ of fox fur in Europe and only China farms more foxes globally. Over 1.8 million foxes were killed for their fur in 2014 in Finland.
‘The UK banned fur farming in 2000, due to its inherent cruelty, but we still import fur from factory farms like these in Finland on a large scale. Fox fur sold on Britain’s high streets and markets this autumn and winter will have come from foxes farmed in similarly cruel conditions. No one with an ounce of compassion can buy real fur with a clear conscience and it’s time the UK government did the right thing and ban the sale of real fur.’