“As soon as people see a light at the end of the tunnel, that there is some other opportunity, they are gone. Nobody wants to stay there.”
Those are the words of an ex-fur farm worker in Czerniejewo, Poland.
This comes from a new report published by research institute ZOBSiE, which examines how fur farming not only impacts negatively on animals, but on humans too.
The report, entitled ‘The attitude of local residents towards fur farming in Poland’ was commissioned by Open Cages, Fur Free Alliance and the Albert Sweitzer’s Foundation for our Contemporaries. It comes at a time when Poland is debating whether or not to ban the practice of fur farming altogether.
It centres around a direct method survey, which involved asking residents in the Polish regions of Czerniejewo, Kozmin Wielkopolski, and Nowogard about their views on fur farms.
The answers that people gave generally reflected the fact that fur farms are highly undesirable to live near. Across the three regions, between 45 – 62% of people asked said that fur farms are a nuisance to local residents; the main reasons being the horrendous smell and the swarms of insects which are attracted to them in the summer.
Protests against the fur farms have been going on for years, and are only becoming more frequent. The report reads: “As the number of fur farms and farmed animals increased, there were more and more protests from local communities who opposed the functioning of the existing farms, as well as the creation of new facilities.”
Seeing as Poland is one of the world’s largest producers of fur pelts, many Polish people have either worked on, or had a member of their family work on a fur farm at some point in their life.
It is not only the animals who suffer on fur farms. The overwhelming stench, being bitten by frightened animals, excessive working hours, poor sanitary and social facilities and the biting cold of winter are some of the worst things about the job cited by employees. It therefore comes as little surprise that staff turnover on the farms is extremely high.
Given that ZOBSiE’s findings also show that unemployment in all three regions generally remained unchanged between 2009 – 2012, during the fur industry’s ‘boom’ period, it would seem that the fur farms really don’t benefit the economy as much as the fur industry claims.
It is not only for the sake of fur-bearing animals that we need to put an end to the fur trade, but also for the sake of the humans who are exploited and subjected to the misery created by this awful industry.
Poland exports 90% of the fur pelts it produces. The UK should not be one of the countries supporting this trade.
Together, we can keep fur out of the UK. Please e-mail Michael Gove at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him why the UK should not play a part in this inhumane industry by importing and selling fur.
Originally written by Catherine Reda