1,502,319 signatures were officially submitted to the European Commission (EC), calling on the EU to ban fur farming and the placement of farmed fur products on the market once and for all.
Fur Free Europe was launched in May 2022 and received the support of more than eighty organisations from all around Europe. It closed on March 1st, earlier than its official deadline, thanks to a record number of signatures collected: 1,701,892 in less than ten months. The ECI also successfully reached the signatures threshold in eighteen Member States.
On all fronts, the existence of fur farming holds no reasonable grounds. In fur farms wild animals such as minks, foxes and racoon dogs are kept in tiny cages, hindered from displaying natural behaviour and killed solely because of the value of their fur.
In addition, the farms pose a significant risk on animal and human health, as proven during the COVID-19 pandemic, when outbreaks caused variants to be transmitted from animals to humans. From an environmental perspective, the use of toxic chemicals in the production of fur makes it one of the most polluting industries. The fur industry also poses serious threats to biodiversity, with some farmed species escaped from fur farms now considered Invasive Alien Species (IAS), causing significant adverse impacts on European native wildlife.
The ECI organisers will now meet with the European Commission and then attend a public hearing at the European Parliament, after which the European Commission has to publicly respond to the initiative, before the end of the year.
This marks the 10th successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) since the tool was launched, and 7 out of 10 ECIs were dedicated to animal issues. Fur Free Europe represents the most successful ECI for animal welfare, and the third most successful overall.