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Minister: Mink neglect must stop

Minister: Mink neglect must stop

Published: 11 Aug 2010 07:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Aug 2010 07:42 GMT+02:00

Sweden's agriculture minister Eskil Erlandsson has demanded an end to the neglectful treatment of minks after having been presented with macabre film footage from Sweden's mink farms.

Erlandsson promised swift measures to curb the abuse, but opposition to the practice of mink farming continued to grow.

"This can not be allowed to happen. That which we have seen on the pictures is not consistent with Swedish law," said Eskil Erlandsson to news agency TT, after a hastily arranged meeting with the Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket).

The board has been given the task of developing a plan to stop the neglect and to establish checks to ensure an improvement of animal protection. The board will also compile a report of current research.

Erlandsson has promised more funds for animal protection controls, so that transparency can work more efficiently.

The pictures, recorded over the past 18 months by the The Animal Rights Alliance (Djurrättsalliansen) and showing mink that have bitten each other to death and cages containing the bodies of dead animals, have received an angry reaction.

Left Party leader Lars Ohly, in a debate article in Aftonbladet, demanded swift measures to tackle the situation, or Eskil Erlandsson's resignation.

The Animal Rights Alliance has called for mink farming to be banned.

“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)

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Your comments about this article

09:36 August 11, 2010 by jack sprat
I'm quite surprised this still goes on in Sweden, as they are normally one of the better countries regarding animal rights and cruelty.

This disgusting and unnecessary practice was finally banned for good in England 7 or 8 years ago.

I had an opportunity to see behind the scenes in some of these places in Norway a few years ago, and without going into details I could only describe it as absolutely shocking and cruel in the extreme.

I believe Denmark is another country with little regard for animal welfare, especially relating to extreme factory farming methods in relation to mink,foxes and pigs.
12:16 August 11, 2010 by DrMartin
I just hope that, no matter who wins in next months election, they will see fit to do away with these farms like so many other countries has.
12:30 August 11, 2010 by zircon
Killing, pillaging, plundering, burning houses down, these are characteristics to Swedish 21th century social engineering. Only, more civilized.
14:29 August 11, 2010 by EFBA
Many of the images in the videos are truely 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.
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