Media Statement: Monster foxes on Finnish fur farms

Statements by FOUR PAWS Wild Animal Expert Thomas Pietsch and Australia Country Director Jeroen van Kernebeek


“FOUR PAWS is shocked by the newly published pictures of agonised polar foxes in Finland. The upsetting footage, obtained by the local animal rights group 'Oikeutta eläimill’, shows extremely obese animals locked in tight cages without room to move. In the wild, polar foxes normally reach a weight of roughly four kilos. Due to deliberate breeding for the largest possible amount of fur, the animals reach a weight of up to 20 kilos on Finnish fur farms. As a result, the so-called monster foxes suffer from heavily folded skin, severe eye infections and badly malformed feet.”  

Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS Wild Animal Expert 

“Despite being one of the most well-known animal welfare issues, fur remains prevalent in many countries with new markets appearing in China, Russia and South Korea, and even Australia. A fur collar on the hood of a jacket or the small furry bobble on a handbag is not always faux. The amount of real fur 'hidden' in modern fashion in this way requires a staggering number of animals to suffer and die. Distressed animals, such as those shown in these horrific images, usually end up as fur trim for luxury brands like Burberry, Prada or Chanel. Given these cruel images, FOUR PAWS urges these companies to follow the positive examples of Armani, Gucci and Versace and stop using real fur in their fashion collections.” 

Jeroen van Kernebeek, Australia Country Director

FOUR PAWS Australia is the Australian representative of the global Fur Free Retailer program.

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FOUR PAWS press contact

Elise Burgess

Elise Burgess

Head of Communications

M: 0423 873 382

FOUR PAWS Australia
GPO Box 2845 

Main Phone: 1800 454 228

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.

Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals in fashion, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones.

With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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