The European Commission has not recognised the ‘credibility’ of the fur farm certification scheme WelFur, according to the Humane Society International/UK.

Putting the record straight, the UK group noted that Fur Europe’s WelFur scheme (content and efficacy) has not been validated by the European Commission. Instead, it has merely been listed on a self-regulation database managed by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

And the EESC database only maps self-regulatory schemes introduced by industry bodies and professional associations in the EU.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK which runs the Fur Free Britain campaign, said “The fur trade is clinging on to existence through twisting and bending the truth to cover up the appalling suffering of the millions of animals it keeps incarcerated in battery cages on fur farms each year, but this latest bout of fake news is a stretch even for them. Fifteen countries have now fully or partially banned fur farming in Europe, and four more have current debates in their Parliaments to do so, so the fur industry might need to invest in a time machine if it thinks the European Union is going to look at WelFur to guide regulations to legitimise this cruel and outdated industry. We’d like to set the record straight that the European Commission hasn’t endorsed the content of the WelFur scheme. If they did they’d likely form the same opinion as leading UK veterinary experts, that it’s a gossamer-thin veil over the same old suffering. No amount of whitewash will make fur farming humane, which is why we are seeing such strong public and political support for a UK fur sales ban.”

To avoid such misleading claims being made in future, HSI will be urging the European Economic and Social Committee to remove the WelFur scheme, and to consider introducing animal welfare guidelines to inform the EESC’s future acceptance of self-regulatory animal welfare programmes. Currently no other animal industry self-regulation programmes are listed on the EESC database.

Humane Society International UK leads the #FurFreeBritain campaign, aiming to end to the double standard of importing cruelly produced fur from countries such as Italy, France, Poland, China, Russia and Finland despite fur farming being banned in the UK on ethical grounds.

More than 100 million animals globally are reported to be killed every year for their fur.