Sign NOW To Help Save Serbia’s Fur Farm Ban

Rattled by recent major advances by the anti-fur movement,  the fur industry is now  putting huge pressure on the Serbian government to delay the fur farming ban (that is due to become effective in 2019) – likely following the Bosnian example.

In a recent meeting of the Sector for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the National Assembly of Serbia, held on 20 February 2018, fur farmers were able to spread propaganda and misinformation about chinchilla fur farming. As the vote in the Serbian parliament on legislation amendments could be a matter of two weeks, we need to act quickly. We have already written to Serbian politicians and a joint letter from the international Fur Free Alliance has been delivered to the Serbian parliament.

We need your help to sign our letter to the Serbian Embassy, urging the Serbian government to stay true to the Animal Welfare Act 2009 and end fur farming in 2019.





We are writing with regard to the Serbian ban on fur farming that is to take effect

on January 1st 2019.


We were alarmed to find that the Serbian legislation to end fur farming was discussed during

a regular meeting of the Sector for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the

National Assembly of Serbia, held on 20 February 2018.


In accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2009, the Serbian ban on the widely-condemned

practice of fur farming is due to become effective in 2019. In the last nine years Serbian fur

farmers have thus been given the opportunity to transition to a more economically stable and

sustainable industry. With less than one year left before the transitional period runs out, any

change to the previously agreed upon legislation would raise serious questions regarding

the Serbian legislative process.


The fact is that, in the last two decades, 16 European countries have voted for legislation to

end or limit fur farming, most recently the Czech Republic and Germany. Due to the

significant ethical concerns and serious animal welfare problems associated with fur farming,

legislation to ban the cruel practice entirely has been passed in the United Kingdom, Austria,

The Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Czech Republic and in the

Walloon and Brussels regions of Belgium. Even in Norway and in Denmark – the heartlands of the fur farming industry – legislators have taken steps, to either ban the industry entirely (Norway) or partially (fox farming is banned in Denmark), on the grounds of animal welfare. Hungary is another country where a partial ban on fur farming is in place.


Due to stricter welfare regulations, fur farming has been entirely phased out in

Switzerland and partially phased out in Sweden, where neither foxes nor chinchillas can be

bred for fur. Recently the German government voted for stricter regulations that will see fur

farms in Germany close their doors by 2022. Furthermore, debates on fur farming bans are

currently ongoing in Poland, Luxembourg and Belgium.


Public opinion polls consistently show that fur farming is considered unacceptable by the

majority of citizens in countries across Europe. There is an increasing awareness on animal

welfare issues and ethical concerns on the uses to which animals are put in society. It is

therefore of upmost importance that political discussions on chinchilla farming are factually

correct and supported by science.


Both the short-tailed chinchilla and the long-tailed chinchilla are listed as critically

endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural

Resources List of Threatened Species. Short-tailed chinchillas are considered to be extinct

in Bolivia and Peru, but are suspected to be recovering in other areas. In 1996, there were

only 42 colonies of long-tailed chinchillas left, and the population has declined ever since.

The fur industry’s claim that breeding chinchillas for fur benefits the conservation of the

species is incorrect, indeed it is the fur trade itself that is responsible for the depletion of the



Given the fact that chinchillas are the only animals kept for fur in Serbia, it is important that

scientific facts on chinchilla farming are taking into consideration when fur farming legislation

is at stake. A large number of veterinarians and animal welfare experts agree that it is

impossible to ensure the welfare of chinchillas in factory farms. Keeping chinchillas in small

cages prevents them from running and jumping (a species-specific behaviour of chinchillas),

and from engaging in social behaviour that would satisfy their natural needs. Although

chinchillas in nature are monogamous, under fur farming conditions they are forced to mate

with multiple males, by wearing a polygamous necklace that restrains them from moving.

Furthermore, the unnatural conditions in which chinchillas are kept and bred causes stress related abnormal stereotypical behaviour, fear, reproductive disorders and offspring mortality.


The natural life expectancy of chinchillas is between 10 and 20 years, but chinchillas bred

for fur live 8 months on average. To prevent damaging their pelts, chinchillas are

electrocuted on Serbian fur farms, a killing method that is widely condemned as inhumane.


Animal fur is a non-essential fashion product which cannot be produced in an ethical way.

Animals bred for fur are kept in tiny wire mesh cages for their entire lives and killed by

inhumane, painful methods. In today’s society, modern consumers are increasingly aware of

the animal welfare problems on fur farms and are not willing to buy products of extreme

animal cruelty. Consequently, an increasing number of international fashion houses are

making commitments to drop animal fur from their collections.


We urge Serbia to stay true to your legislative commitment to ban the farming of animals for fur. We ask that you uphold the wishes of the public and the politicians who voted in favour of the Animal Welfare Act 2009 and end this internationally condemned industry from operating in your country, as previously agreed, by January 1st 2019.