Kopenhagen Fur to close

Kopenhagen Fur, the world’s largest fur auction house and owned by Danish fur breeders, has announced plans to close.  This follows the news last week that Denmark announced plans to cull all its mink – as many as 17 million – after a mutated form of coronavirus that can spread to humans and threatens the efficacy of potential vaccines was found on mink factory farms.

The 90-year-old company says it has enough pelts to hold auctions next year and possibly further into the future, but will start liquidating the business after that, according to a statement on its website.

Jesper Lauge, CEO at Kopenhagen Fur said: “the loss of the Danish mink production means that the ownership base disappears and therefore, the company’s management has decided to gradually downsize the company and make a controlled shutdown over a period of 2-3 years, “

The devastating impact of fur factory farming is now exposed as unsustainable, unprofitable and cruel. The coronavirus mink outbreaks have made news around the world. It is upsetting to see so many innocent animals killed in such high numbers and worrying to contemplate the potential threat to human health.

Fur farming is a disaster for animal welfare and a risk to human health. It is now important for governments to ban this cruelty once and for all.

A number of outrageous failings in the animal welfare of mink have been reported in Denmark over recent days, including:

  • A viral video showing a still alive mink surrounded by dead carcasses in a killing box. The animal, which is half gassed, is struggling to breath through an open gap in the box as workers attempt to roughly push the animal’s head back inside.
  • Numerous accounts report that thousands of mink bodies have been strewn across a motorway in Denmark.
  • Denmark’s animal welfare group, Dyrenes Beskyttelse, has reported the Danish state to the police amid accusations of cruelty.

The bombshell announcement from Kopenhagen Fur comes as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Thursday, 12 November, that the virus mutation found in Danish mink “could potentially affect the level of overall vaccine effectiveness of vaccines under development.”

The UK has imposed an immediate ban on all visitors from Denmark amid concerns about the new strain.

The political fallout in Denmark has been complicated. The PM’s decision to wipe out Denmark’s entire mink population lacked a legal mandate, forcing the government to regroup and draft an emergency bill. That failed to win the three-quarters parliamentary support needed to pass, and the legislative process is now in limbo.

The government currently expects a standard bill to pass with a simple majority of more than 50%, and wants all Danish mink farming to be banned until 2022. That means breeding animals will be wiped out, meaning the scale of Denmark’s mink industry will be unrecognisable for the foreseeable future and may never recover.

Respect for Animals Campaign’s Director, Mark Glover, said:

“I have devoted decades of my life to campaigning against the fur industry.  The amount of animal cruelty I have seen during these years has stayed with me. The fur trade is a morally repugnant industry, relying on terrible animal suffering for a product no one really needs.

We have come a long way in the 20 years since the UK fur farming ban passed into law, which was a bitter fight.

The demise of Kopenhagen Fur is welcome but we should not forget the countless millions of suffering animals this company has profited from for around 90 years.

We now need to shut down the morally bankrupt fur industry everywhere. We won’t stop until we succeed.”