Statement from Saga Furs following recent coverage in the media regarding Arctic Foxes from Finnish Farms.
“We have seen the video in question and, while not commenting on its authenticity, have reached out to all certified farmers to ensure the animals are cared for with the best possible standards.
Saga Furs does not accept the breeding of oversized foxes nor any mistreatment of animals.
The four farms reportedly filmed in the video were immediately inspected and no suggestion of such foxes as in the video were found, nor mistreatment of the animals.
After the release of the video, Saga Furs has increased resources in counselling and supervision.
To ensure the leading position in animal welfare, the industry has engaged additional veterinarians and the cooperation with the authorities has been intensified.
We would like to highlight that the vast majority of farmers take very good care of their animals.
For 12 years, Saga Furs have had a certification scheme in place. The certification requires that all farms are inspected regularly by 3rd party independent auditing companies and both Finnish and EU authorities – several times a year. The farm certification system requires higher animal welfare standards above those recommended by the European Union, and the standards are much more stricter than in the meat industry, for example.
Saga Furs promotes further improvement in animal welfare and, within the limits of its authority, intervenes if any deficiencies emerge. Long-term cooperation to develop animal welfare with both Finnish and international fur animal breeder associations is a special topic in which success will have an impact well into the future. One example of this is the WelFur assessment, which is already in use at Saga Furs, but will be taken into use European wide from 2020.
In addition to certification, we recognise the importance of animal welfare and breeding conditions. Saga Furs reserves the right to abstain from selling or grading pelts that do not comply with current legislation or standards of fur farming or that come from areas that do not have such legislation or standards. The company monitors that these conditions are met, and if it finds pelts in its own sales or grading selections that do not meet Saga Furs’ criteria, these pelts will be removed.
Saga Furs recognises that a high level of animal health and welfare is a prerequisite for the entire future of the fur industry.”