Last week, new footage from a mink fur farm in Poland was published by Open Cages amidst calls for a ban on British fur sales.
Warning: This video contains graphic content.
The investigation was conducted at the turn of November and December 2020 by Open Cages activists in Poland and the German organization SOKO Tierschutz. Hidden cameras were installed at a mink farm in the village of Długie Stare. For several days, they recorded the slaughter of mink—both inside and outside the gassing box. These are the first recordings of this type from Polish fur farms.
The videos show three people who carried out the slaughter with the gas box. They throw the minks into the box violently, and the animals who survived the gassing are hit with a metal rod or killed by being hit against a wooden joist. Another mink is killed by being kicked. In the cart, into which dead animals are thrown, minks which are still breathing are crushed by the bodies of their companions.
Animal cruelty is the norm on a fur farm. These poor minks are thrown around like trash, some are beaten, trampled —the only release from this terror is to suffocate inside a gas chamber. This is yet another investigation that shows the sheer scale of suffering of animals on legally operating fur farms.Connor Jackson, CEO of Open Cages in the UK
In addition to the negligence of the people carrying out the slaughter, the activists also documented the inside of the gassing box. The recordings show minks suffocating from gas, active for several dozen seconds, running around the box, struggling to get fresh air each time the lid is opened. The animals fight for their lives until their last moment.
“Fur farmers often say that minks are ‘put to sleep’ and that this is one of the most humane methods of slaughter,” comments Connor Jackson. “Our investigation, as well as the investigations of other animal rights organizations, clearly shows that this gassing is a brutal practice. In addition, it is ineffective and some animals survive this process. With each day that Britain continues to allow the sale of fur, we will remain complicit in the suffering of these animals.”
Poland is the third-largest producer of fur in the world and is home to an industry of factory-style fur farming. The country’s government recently proposed a fur farming ban following years of campaigning from Open Cages, potentially sparing millions of foxes and minks. The bill is yet to pass through the Senate.
With #FurFreeBritain partners Humane Society International UK, Open Cages is calling on the UK Government to ban the sale of fur post-Brexit. Despite banning fur farming decades ago due to what was viewed as its inherent cruelty, Britain continues to import millions of pounds worth of fur each year. Animal protection organizations urge the Government to sever ties with an industry that was deemed inconsistent with British values long ago. A myriad of European countries have banned fur farming in recent years, and major fashion brands like Prada and Burberry have introduced fur-free policies as the popularity of fur rapidly declines.
Open Cages sent a notice to the Polish prosecutor’s office about the possibility of committing an animal abuse crime.
Urge Britain to ban the sale of fur in the UK. Sign the petition here.
Taylor Meek is the community manager and a contributing author at Sentient Media. She oversees all social media content and strategy and manages the social media team and Social Media Fellowship program.