Undercover footage by the Lithuanian organisation Kailiu Fermos shows what is being described as some of the most shocking suffering ever recorded on European fur farms. Lithuania is among the world’s largest mink fur producers, with as many as 2 million mink killed on fur farms each year.
The dreadful video (WARNING: EXTREMELY DISTRESSING FOOTAGE) shows mink dying and badly injured in small wire cages. One mink is injured so severely that its organs are visibly coming out of its body, other mink are suffering terrible sores. The footage also shows numerous acts of cannibalism and aggression. One animal screams and tries to crawl away while other animals tear at its insides from a gaping wound.
The Fur Free Alliance has said the video shows such distressing footage that several animal protection organisations have decided not to publish it.
Respect for Animals is only publishing stills from the footage, with the most distressing details obscured:
Mink are predatory and wide-ranging animals, not adapted to living in battery cages. On top of that, mink are solitary and semi-aquatic animals. The stress of living in small cages with other animals causes extreme abnormal behaviour, such as cannibalism, self-mutilation and fighting injuries. When mink fall sick they are often left without any care on fur farms.
There are as many as 200 fur factory farms in Lithuania. Around 2 million mink, 4000 foxes and 50 000 chinchillas are killed every year on Lithuanian fur farms.
In 2017, over £100,000 worth of raw mink skins were imported into the UK from Lithuania. Real fur from farms with conditions like this is being worn on British streets.
Respect for Animals Campaign Director, Mark Glover says:
“These deplorable scenes are up there with the worst footage from fur farms that I have ever seen. The suffering experienced by these animals can barely be imagined. This is the sickening truth about fur. Shame on the morally bankrupt fur industry and all who defend it.”
Gabriele Vaitkevičiūtė, head of Open Cages Lithuania, says:
“In small cages, the basic needs of animals cannot be met, so these problems are not isolated cased but occur on all fur farms. Animal welfare problems such as cannibalism and injuries are inherent to fur farms and are a result from the caging conditions. It would be naive to think that confining a few predatory animals together in one cage would not create aggression.”