fur farm

Fur farm investigation in Finland.
Farms producing fur for the UK market have been exposed for caging animals in sickening conditions.

An undercover investigation in western Finland found dangerously overweight silver foxes barely able to move.

Other animals were found with weeping eye conditions and thick rolls of fur over their eyes.

And a farm in Ireland kept mink in such distressing conditions wildlife experts said they were bound to suffer "physiological stress and resort to self-mutilation and cannibalism".

It comes as the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee meets tomorrow to investigate the conditions of the global fur industry.

A debate on banning fur imports is also due on June 4 - the first time in 15 years that Parliament has scrutinised the trade.

More than £2.5million of fur products have been imported in the past five years into the UK from Finland.

An investigation by Finnish campaign group Oikeutta Eläimille, some of it at so-called "high-welfare" Saga Fur farms, shows grossly obese foxes with infected eyes, deformed feet, and behaviour caused by the stress of the confinement.

More undercover footage shot by campaigners from the National Animal Rights Association (NARA) revealed mink in filthy crowded cages.
fat fur fox

Some of the foxes were too fat to move.
Claire Bass, of Humane Society International UK, said: "This shocking footage showing obese, sick and mentally broken animals, lays waste to the fur trade's claims that fur farming is in any way ethical.

"There is no such thing as humane fur farming - the only way for the UK to ensure it is not sponsoring this suffering is to ban fur imports."

Wildlife expert Chris Packham said: "It is heart-breaking to see these beautiful, intelligent animals confined for their entire lives in tiny barren cages on fur farms. These animals are completely unsuitable to be farmed."