Humanity just hit another low. A new investigation, which was conducted by the animal rights group Oikeutta eläimille (Animal Justice) earlier this spring, has revealed the extreme lengths some distributors in the fashion industry will go to. When members of the group visited five Finnish farms, a disturbing amount of overweight blue foxes were discovered.
The animals are believed to be bred 5x larger than normal so they produce an excess amount of fur that will result in more profit. Judging by the pictures, the animals’ well-being has not been taken into account. Many do not even look like foxes, and their overweight statures have to be painful on their slender frames.
Oikeutta eläimille says that in the wild, the wild, female blue fox weighs about 3.5 kilograms (about 6 pounds). The ones being bred in cages for their fur, however, appear to weigh more than 19 kilograms or 40 pounds. That’s an absolutely mind-boggling figure. The photos do not lie, however.
The foxes are so overweight, their movements are restricted and their breathing is labored.
When Steven Frostdahl of the Finnish Fur Breeders Association was questioned, he said that the foxes’ were being bred in such a way to produce lush, luxurious coats. They were “selected” for breeding and had likely since been put on a “breeding diet” to lose weight. Afterward, the Finnish Fur Breeders Association asked for names and locations of the breeders so veterinarians could be sent to check on the establishment’s conditions and the welfare of the animals.
“It’s important that we get in touch with these farms so that we can check what kind of condition the animals are in, [to be able to determine] whether specific action is required or whether it is a question of animal welfare crime,” said Frostdahl.
In Finland, animal welfare legislation prohibits animals who are intentionally bred from suffering. The foxes featured in these pictures — and others at the same facility — are slaughtered and sold for their furs under the Saga Furs brand. Saga Furs provides skins (up to 83 percent of its selection) to some of the biggest groups in fashion, including Louise Vuitton, Gucci, and Michael Kors.
Regardless of the fact that there is no “humane” way to care for an animal which is destined to be slaughtered, it cannot be ignored that some of the most reputable and sought-after brands in fashion are sourcing furs from foxes which are living in inhumane conditions. If this finding bothers you, boycott the companies that sell and source fur — specifically, from Saga Furs. Secondly, support organizations such as the Fur Free Alliance. Finally, share this article to raise awareness about the industry’s practices and advocate for cruelty-free living in your personal life.
Following are photos from the undercover investigation:
Learn more about Oikeutta eläimille and how you can get involved by visiting the group’s website.