Høringssvar fra International Fur Federation (IFF)

IFF response to Norwegian government

Dato: 12.03.2018

Svartype: Med merknad

Landbruks- og matdepartementet

Høring - Endring av forskrift om hold av pelsdyr

The International Fur Federation (IFF) is proud to count amongst its members two Norwegian associations: Pelsinform and Norges Pelsdyralslag.

In the context of the current open consultation on the withdrawal of recently adopted and implemented fur farming related regulation (Meld. St. 8 (2016-2017) and Innst. 151 S (2016-2017), the IFF would like to provide input and state its view on the intention of the Norwegian government to propose to undertake a controlled closure of Norwegian fur farming.

While it is not for the IFF to comment on the specific regulatory changes under national scrutiny, we wish to express our dismay at the government’s statements to ban fur farming which would mean the reversal of a policy of sustainable, controlled and responsible fur farming in Norway which has been democratically agreed upon.

Norwegian fur farmers display excellent levels of animal welfare, having been the first ones to sign up to WelFur, a fur animal welfare assessment program of Fur Europe which has been developed by independent scientists from seven European universities.

WelFur is supported by IFF as the European part of FurMark- the certification program that provides consumers with the reassurance they need to confidently buy fur.

 The fur industry is a dynamic and growing one. IFF 56 members come from 40 countries. These members represent all levels of the trade, ranging from farmers and trappers to retail. In October 2017, IFF welcomed two new member counties- Afghanistan and Czech Republic represented by Afghan Karakul Institute and Czech Fur Association.

In recent years, Norway has counted among the top European producers of fox and mink. Europe is a world leader when it comes to mink skin production; Europe accounts for 80 per cent of the world production of mink skin excluding China’s production and 60 per cent including China’s production, according to a 2017 study by the University of Copenhagen.

In 2014, 850 000 out of 87.2 million globally produced minks were of Norwegian origin. Norway also produced over 2 per cent of the 7.7 million foxes. In 2015, global fur retail sales were worth 29,1 billion dollars.

Fur is a popular material used by huge brands and artisan designers in their collections. The proportion of shows displaying fur and shearling during the main fashion weeks in 2018 (Paris, Milan, London and New York) placed itself around 40-50 % range with European cities showing the greatest interest towards fur.

Every year the fur sector holds an international fur design competition REMIX, which provides young people with an opportunity to kick start their careers and establish themselves in the creative sector.

REMIX 2016 Bronze Winner Edda Gimnes, who is originally from Norway, has excelled in her young career since her participation in the competition.

She now owns her own brand EDDA and has been able to showcase her collections in different parts of the world such as London, Oslo, Milan, Berlin and South Africa.

The Norwegian fur sector can count itself amongst the best regulated and most scientifically up-to-date in the world.

The global fur industry is in constant development aiming for the highest standards. In this respect, IFF has been instrumental in establishing a soon to be launched global certification program, FURMARK, designed to provide global fur farm and trapping standards certification and to offer consumers real confidence about animal welfare standards. It is a comprehensive certification and traceability program that will cover sustainability, animal welfare and the dressing and dyeing of fur.

Our members’ businesses depend on various parameters but freedom of choice is among the most fundamental ones. The fur industry is permitted by the society the license to engage in animal husbandry like many other industries. To preserve this freedom is the imperative of the industry to seek high animal welfare standards. This is what we want, what the members want and what the market wants.

The International Fur Federation therefore calls upon the Norwegian government to reconsider their intention to ban fur farming and instead to support the existing fur farming rules and thereby secure responsible and sustainable fur production in Norway.

Best regards,

Mark Oaten, CEO of International Fur Federation