Finnish fur industry continues its sharp decline with fewer animals bred for fur

Laura Uotila

Animal Welfare Advisor

There is no doubt that the Finnish fur industry is in sharp decline. The most recent statistics from 2018 reveal that the trend is moving in the right direction for animals: both the number of fur farms and animals farmed for fur fell considerably last year. There was also a fall in fur prices and export earnings.

The Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association FIFUR (previously ProFur) publishes yearly statistics on the state of the industry. According to FIFUR figures, the number of fur farms in Finland continued to decrease in 2018. Last year there were 763 FIFUR member farms operating in approximately 900 locations, whereas a year earlier there were 860 farms operating in 960 locations. In total, there were 967 fur farms in Finland in 2018, while just a year earlier there were 1,015 farms. The total number of farms therefore decreased by five per cent.

The value of fur exports fell by 100 million euros. The exports were worth 317 million euros in 2018 (compared to 430 million euros in 2017) meaning that the industry accounts for only 0.5 per cent of the total value of Finland’s exports. Both mink and fox fur prices fell by 24 per cent. It is estimated that the employment impact of the fur industry continues to add up to under 5000 person-years.

The good news for fur animals is that there is a clear decrease in the number of animals bred for fur. In 2018, there were 18 per cent fewer fox cubs and 14 per cent fewer mink cubs than in 2017.

In total, 3.46 million fur animal cubs were born on Finnish fur farms last year. 1.37 million of them were mink and 1.63 million blue fox. Even though the number of animals is still huge, the downward trend is strong. Compared with the figures from four or five years ago, the numbers for both mink and blue fox cubs have dropped by more than a third. In fact, the number of farmed mink in Finland has not been this low in decades, and the last time the number of blue foxes was this low was in 2012.

In contrast, there is a slight increase in raccoon dog (Asiatic raccoon) farming. Last year 158,000 raccoon dogs were farmed in Finland, whereas in the previous year the number was 140,000 animals. However, the total number of raccoon dogs is moderate compared to mink and foxes.

Translation: Johanna Koskinen.

Source (the link will open in a new tab)

Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association: Statistics 2019 (in Finnish).

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