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Nearly two-thirds of Bulgarians want a ban on fur farms, according to a survey



Public opinion in Bulgaria is strictly against raising of animals for fur. Two-thirds of the population support a total ban on farming animals in Bulgaria solely for their fur, according to a survey carried out by the Institute for Social Survey and Marketing (ISSM) in June 2018, on behalf of FOUR PAWS.  Bulgarians are of the opinion that the fur industry is of little economic importance to Bulgaria and nearly three-quarters of respondents believe the suffering inflicted on animals in fur farms on a daily basis, as well as the damage done by these farms to the environment, do not justify the raising and killing of animals solely for their fur.


Despite the fact that fur farms in Bulgaria are operative since only a few years, many people (35% in total) know about their existence and 7.6% are well aware of the way the animals are being kept and raised. The majority of Bulgarians - 51% - fully or partially agree that fur products can be dangerous to human health, which is also indicated by a research by the independent German laboratory Bremer Umweltinstitut.


Nearly three-quarters or 71.3 % believe that the industry does not contribute significantly to Bulgarian economy and only 21.1 % think the industry needs to expand. At the same time 70 % consider the industry is of importance only to a small part of the population.


Three out of every four respondents agree that the raising and killing animals solely for the harvesting of their fur is not justified either because it is cruel, unethical and unacceptable (53 %) or because there are too many harmful consequences for people, the environment and wildlife (22%). Only 13 % consider farming of animals for their fur justifiable, as the sector is of economic importance for Bulgaria.

The impressive 65.6% of Bulgarians support a total ban on fur farming in Bulgaria. This will be in parallel to similar tendencies in many European countries such as Austria, the UK, Croatia and others, where such bans are already active. In 2016 the Netherlands, the fourth largest mink fur producer worldwide, completely banned mink farms and the ban will enter into force in 2024.


Of the few respondents (23 %) who are partially or fully opposed to the ban on fur farms, the overwhelming majority, or 88.3 %, are in favour of stricter rules to ensure better animal welfare and better protection of the environment.  

The results of the survey were presented today at a meeting between representatives of FOUR PAWS and other activist groups and the Danish ambassador in Bulgaria – Mr. Søren Jacobsen. Today's meeting was in response to a previous meeting, organized by the ambassador, where Danish representatives of the fur industry have lobbied to the Bulgarian government to create necessary conditions for the development of the sector in Bulgaria.


Over the last few years, three fur farms have been opened in Bulgaria, two of them currently operating with a total capacity of about 130,000 animals. The biggest fur farm in the village of Madzherito, Stara Zagora province, attracted wide public attention after media reported about the plans to raise in the farm up to 400 000 minks, which were to be killed in gas chambers. Although Bulgarian legislation prohibits the industrial keeping of American mink, all fur farms have been licensed by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.


A citizens’ initiative for the ban of fur farms in Bulgaria was launched in the spring of this year and in three months more than 50 000 signatures were collected. The petition was  was submitted for consideration to the National Assembly (Bulgarian Parliament).


FOUR PAWS insists on introducing a total ban on raising animals for the production of fur, on closing down of existing farms and on seeking responsibility for the staff of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency who have allowed the licensing of these farms in breach of existing legal provisions.


 You can see the full report HERE

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