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Swedish mink farms slammed for 'cruelty'

Published: 10 Aug 2010 12:39 GMT+02:00

The Animal Rights Alliance (Djurrättsalliansen) has for the past 18 months been documented conditions at 16 Swedish fur farms. Photos taken at the farms show mink that have bitten each other to death and cages containing the bodies of dead animals.

The alliance is now calling on politicians to act:

“We argue that all mink farmers are breaking animal welfare laws and that the regulations are not compatible with our animal welfare laws. Given that these breaches of the law have been allowed to continue for 22 years, we argue that this is no longer a case for police and animal welfare inspectors, but for politicians,” said Lina Flyren, spokeswoman for Djurrättsalliansen.

“We argue that rearing [minks] is morally abhorrent and should be banned immediately,” she said.

Flyren said the organization had not yet decided whether to push for prosecution of the offending mink farmers:

“This is more a political question than a matter for the police. If you have such serious breaches of the animal protection laws at 20 percent of mink farms, then it’s pretty representative of mink farms in general. We want a ban - that’s all we’re going to argue for,” she said.

The activists have said they will not cooperate with legal investigations into their break-ins at Swedish mink farms.

“We admit that we did it, but we won’t reveal the identities of our research teams. We view it as vital to keep that to ourselves,” she said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:24 August 10, 2010 by zircon
Cruelty seems inherent to Swedish society.
13:34 August 10, 2010 by DrMartin
Bravo to the Animal Rights Alliance. England did rid with this cruel practice long ago, high time for Sweden to follow suit.
14:19 August 10, 2010 by Audrian
The source of this cruelity can be traced back to the Bible, which claims that god had created all animals to be in service of humans. This rationality helps those engaged in cruelity not to feel guilt for their actions. As this thinking (animals are made for humans) is embeded in our cluture, we think the same way as the fundamentalists, who are guided by the Bible.
01:40 August 11, 2010 by Da Goat
@ audrian

are you dyslexic? Read the Bible again,God did not do or say anything like what you said.

the Bible says he put man in charge of the animals, to take care of them not to dominate them, Yes he can use them But He is angry if you neglect or are cruel.

Jesus even challenged the Pharisees about caring for their sheep on the Sabbath.

In short I don't know about this article firstly the evidence is gained illegally and is therefore not admissible or maybe it is not even truthful, the two horrific claims are counter productive to the business logically (bitten animals are devalued and dead animals can just be skinned as normal) this story sounds like a story to me, like a PETA beat-up!

no one should be cruel to animals this makes me angry but stories like this are not useful, reports from emotional idiots seldom are!

it would be better to officially inspect randomly to find the truth!
04:26 August 11, 2010 by volvoman9
@ Aurian, Once again you draw an astute parallel with religious dogma and animal abuse. The practice is well documented throughout history in the name of various believers.

I think however we have missed the mark here. What part of the practice of raising creatures simply to remove their skins for the purpose of creating some gaudy tasteless garment does not reek of cruelty. These animals are generally electrocuted with an anal probe so as not to damage the fur when it is "harvested".( Doesn't that word positively soften the gruesome practice).

Yes our history is rife with animal abuse ( read sacrifice) in the name of some "god". Of course why stop there the world still has way too many virgins.
12:32 August 11, 2010 by Z-man
@Audrian

There is something to what you say in regards to Christianity vs ecology.

- Christianity has been called "the most anthropocentric religion in the history of the world." -- (Lynn White Jr., "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," Science 155 (# 3767), 1967)

- Christianity not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God's will that man exploit nature for his proper end. Many fundamentalist Christians believe there is no need to conserve the earth because acording to the book of Revelations it will ultimately be destroyed and Christians will inherit "a new heaven and a new earth" anyway. But fundamental or not, Christians see salvation exclusively as an other world reality, which is immeasurably more important than earthly life.

- According to the report "Role of Sociocultural and Environmental Factors in the Cause of Scabies" published in March 2008, statistics show that Christian populations in India tend to spread diseases such as impetigo and scabies, due to poor living conditions, which are direct a result of sociocultural habits related to lack of respect for nature and the belief there is no need for harmonizing with it. (DISCLAIMER: of course one could just as easily produce studies showing certain diseases are spread in other demographics and link them to sociocultural factors; one could then blame it on their being Hindu or Muslim, etc. But what was interesting for me was the identified parameter: "lack of respect for nature.")

HOWEVER, having said that, any religion which teaches a separation between spiritual and the natural/physical realms establishes a dualism of man vs. nature--this includes pretty much any religion in the world today.

AND, some of the worst worst worst atrocities against animals are not committed by Christians, but rather by the Chinese adherenets of Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, and Communism and moneyism. You can find video footage of live skinnings in China if you search around.

FURTHER, another side of the argument is that while anthropocentrism is a characteristic of some christians, Christianity is in fact theocentric, and the anthropocentric view is a misinformed, bastardized form of Bible-based doctrines that reflect a pseudo-ideological view within the material... yada yada ....

All this to say: your argument that all this animal cruelty is the result of Christianty just doesn't hold.
09:41 August 12, 2010 by EFBA
Many of the images in the videos are truly upsetting. Sanctions to the farmers who do not respect animal welfare must be taken.

The European Fur Breeders' Association (EFBA) totally disapproves these unacceptable methods depicted on a very small number of Swedish fur-farms.

So it is equally upsetting that some groups would claim these sensationalistic images show the reality of our industry today.

By the way, it might be surprising to learn that recently in Denmark, the police have rejected the material used by activists against fur-farms as the videos and photos turned out to be full of distorted truths after investigation.

What a pity...(and even weird?) that the activists will not cooperate with legal investigations into their break-ins at Swedish mink farms.

Investigations will commence at the farms claimed to have been visited by the activists to make sure of the veracity of the material as it comes just a few weeks before the Swedish general elections of 19 September 2010.

Last but not least, to guarantee excellent animal welfare in our fur-farms, EFBA is currently introducing an animal welfare certification scheme for all European fur farms. The project, called WelFur, is under way and the implementation at farm level should start as from 2011.
21:35 August 12, 2010 by LauraQuebbemann
So sad.

Laura Quebbemann
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