Finnish and SAGA-assured fox fur is used by global designers and retailers including Harrods and Fendi

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


Fox on a fur farm
HSI

LONDON—An undercover investigation by Humane Society International/UK and Finnish animal campaigners Oikeutta Eläimille reveals deplorable conditions and distressing animal suffering on fur farms in Finland, a country that has exported more than £11million of fur to the UK since 2000 despite the same fur farm cruelty being banned in the UK. Fox fur originating from Finland is used by brands including Fendi, Moncler, Yves Salomon, Woolrich, Herno and Max Mara, and is seen in stores including Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Flannels.

The fur trade claims that almost 100% of fox and raccoon dog fur farms in Finland, and 96% of mink fur farms, are certified by the fur trade’s SAGA Furs* assurance scheme promising “the highest level of animal welfare”. So, Humane Society International/UK, which leads the #FurFreeBritain campaign for a UK fur sales ban, took high-profile media veterinarian and animal welfare campaigner Dr Marc Abraham OBE to see for himself the grim reality for animals behind the fur trade’s glossy marketing. They visited three fur farms in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland, two of which are SAGA certified, and they found foxes in small, barren cages suffering with deformed feet, diseased eyes, missing ears and obesity.

Finland is the biggest producer of fox fur in Europe and the second biggest in the world, exporting millions of pounds worth of fur around the world including to the UK. Since banning fur farming in 2000 on ethical grounds, the UK has imported more than £850million of fur from a range of countries including France, Italy, Poland, China and the United States, with more than £11million worth of fur from Finland alone. Through its #FurFreeBritain campaign, HSI/UK is urging the government to end this by banning UK fur imports and sales, a move supported by 72% of the British public. The government is currently considering a fur sales ban and recently held a public consultation which received 30,000 responses.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, who visited the fur farms, said: “Fur trade buzzwords about welfare ring incredibly hollow when you are staring into the eyes of an animal tormented by a life of deprivation for a frivolous fashion item that nobody needs. Most fashion-forward designers have gone fur-free because of the indefensible cruelty. But to those designers who still use fur, and to the UK government that still allows British businesses to trade in fur, our message is clear – it’s time to stop being complicit in this cruelty. It’s a clear double standard that the UK is outsourcing to countries like Finland the very same fur farm cruelty we banned here two decades ago.”

Veterinarian Dr Marc Abraham OBE said: “As a vet and campaigner who has dedicated my life to animal welfare, it was not only truly depressing to seeing the appalling state of these foxes, but still worse to know that the UK is 100% complicit in this legal fur trade cruelty. What I witnessed first-hand was shameful from an animal welfare point of view, row upon row of pitiful animals imprisoned in tiny cages, barely larger than the length of their body from nose to tail. Many of the foxes we saw had painfully swollen eyes, deformed feet with overgrown claws from having to stand on the wire floor, as well as poor body condition and obesity, not to mention self-mutilation, the clear sign of psychological trauma they must suffer as wild animals without appropriate enrichment.

It must be mental torture being denied the freedom to run and exercise in their natural woodland environment that they can clearly view surrounding their cages, which their instincts are telling them to explore 24/7, but to which, tragically, they will never have access during their short lives. The UK government assured us that after Brexit it would consider what could be done in terms of a UK fur sales ban, and observing such high levels of animal suffering on those Finnish fur farms, leaves me in no doubt that right now is the time to make good on that promise.”

Two of the farms held obese “monster foxes” bred with huge pelts and rolls of fat folded over their body in order to increase the volume of fur that can be harvested. In 2017 the fur trade stated it would put an end to the breeding of oversized foxes, and yet this and previous investigations continue to expose their existence.

Kristo Muurimaa from Finnish animal protection group Oikeutta Eläimille, said: “I have visited more than a hundred fur farms across Finland and every single one is as horrific as the last. To have a respected and decorated veterinarian come to Finland to witness first-hand the animal suffering, is really important in exposing the truth about the fur industry.”

Facts: 

  • More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide, on fur farms and trapped in the wild—that’s equivalent to three animals dying every second, just for their fur. Finland rears and kills between 1-2 million foxes every year.
  • Fur farming is not only cruel to animals, it also presents risks to public health. Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been documented on 447 mink fur farms in 12 different countries in Europe and North America since April 2020. A June letter signed by over 60 veterinarians and virologists highlighted the potential for fur farms to act as reservoirs for the virus and the potential for fur farms to create future zoonotic diseases
  • The World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) ad hoc Group on COVID-19 and Safe Trade in Animals and Animal Products has concluded that raw mink skins cannot be considered a safe commodity for international trade.
  • Fur farming has been banned and/or is in the process of being phased out in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland’s cabinet has approved legislation that would see fur farming banned effective from 2022; and legislation to ban mink farming is currently being debated by politicians in France, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and Ukraine.
  • Earlier this year Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur.
  • In the United States, California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019 following similar bans in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood. The towns of Weston and Wellesley in Massachusetts and the city of Ann Arbor in Michigan have also recently banned fur sales, and more US cities and states are looking to follow suit.
  • An increasing number of fashion designers and retailers are dropping fur cruelty. In the last few years alone Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Chanel, Prada and other high-profile brands have announced fur-free policies. In addition, major online fashion retail platforms Net-A-Porter, Farfetch and MyTheresa have adopted fur-free policies.
  • Fur comes with a hefty environmental price tag. Whilst all materials have some eco-footprint, when compared to other textiles, fur takes a significant toll in terms of the C02 emissions associated with keeping and feeding tens of thousands of carnivorous animals on a farm, the manure runoff into lakes and rivers, and the cocktail of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as chromium and formaldehyde used to preserve the fur and skin to stop it from rotting.

Download Photos and Videos from the Fur Farm

Download a Video of Marc Abraham on the Fur Farm

Media Contact: Wendy Higgins: whiggins@hsi.org

*SAGA is a fur certification scheme which claims SAGA certified farms have good animal health and welfare and provide safe and stimulating housing. As well as good farm hygiene and feed that fulfils nutritional needs in each production phase.

Reference in this article to any specific commercial product or service, or the use of any brand, trade, firm or corporation name is for the information of the public only.  Such reference does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humane Society International or any its affiliates of the product or service, or its producer or provider, and should not be construed or relied upon, under any circumstances, by implication or otherwise, as investment advice. The views and opinions of interviewees expressed in the article do not necessarily state or accurately reflect those of Humane Society International or any of its affiliates. Links and access by hypertext to other websites is provided as a convenience only and does not indicate or imply any endorsement with respect to any of the content on such website nor any of the views expressed thereon.

We can’t tackle climate crisis without cutting intensive animal farming as world’s second largest human-caused GHG emitter

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


dhughes9/iStock.com

LONDON—As COP26 prepares to reveal the final pledges focused on cutting emissions from energy, transport and other sectors, campaigners from Humane Society International, one of the largest global animal protection NGOs in the world, say the total omission of targets to reduce livestock farming and cut meat and dairy production and consumption, represents a ludicrous failure considering the sector is the world’s second largest emitter of human-induced greenhouse gases.

Stefanie McNerney, plant based solutions manager at Humane Society International, says: “Whilst there were many conversations at COP26 side events and press conferences about the urgent need for global food system reform to cut meat and dairy production and consumption, this vital climate mitigation strategy was depressingly absent from the COP26 leader negotiations. Current pledges on methane, coal, forests and transport still look set to put us way off target to limit global temperature rise, so it is a ludicrous failure to ignore the opportunity to limit one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the world, animal agriculture. We need policies and targets that shift farming toward plant-based food production, and the clear lack of ambition to do so is deeply troubling. We have reached a stage in the climate crisis where so called technical solutions such as cattle feed additives are nowhere near enough to tackle emissions from this sector. The climate clock is ticking and it is well past time to move beyond these low-impact greenwashing distractions offered by Big Ag that merely perpetuate the growth of an unsustainable industry. The science is clear that that’s not an option. Will governments follow the science and plan a just transition to a more climate-resilient, plant-centric food system, or will we be waiting until the cows come home for them to stop ignoring the cow in the room?” 

Key points:

  • Despite world leaders at COP26 acknowledging that food production not only contributes to climate change, but also holds one of the keys to mitigating it, dialogues around this sector lacked ambition, with most official conversations focusing on low-impact strategies such as modifying livestock feed, tackling nitrous oxide in fertilizer and rewilding, whilst completely omitting discussion of high impact actions such as livestock reduction and diet change.
  • HSI welcomes the pledges on methane reductions and bringing an end to deforestation. However, animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to both methane emissions and deforestation, and these issues cannot be addressed without reducing global livestock numbers and shifting to more plant-centric food production and consumption.
  • Diverting the discussion toward short-sighted mitigation tactics whilst willfully ignoring and even shooting down the topic of livestock reduction and diet change is nothing short of greenwashing by the livestock industry. Governments that are serious about climate change must address emissions from animal agriculture, and that means reducing the number of animals raised for consumption and transforming our food system to a more sustainable, resilient, plant-centric system that is just for all.
  • On the subject of missing the point, in the draft CMA decision by the COP26 president, the words ‘animal agriculture’ and ‘farming’, let alone ‘livestock reduction’ do not even feature once.
  • The other cow in the room was the cow served on the COP plates. The provision of meat on the menu at a climate conference was disappointing. The CO2equivalent labelling on all food served at the conference clearly demonstrated the very large carbon footprint of beef dishes compared to plant-based options. The juxtaposition of emissions between a beef burger weighing in at a hefty 3.3 kg COe compared to a plant-based burger at just 0.2 kg COe literally served up an obvious mitigation strategy on a plate—one that was a glaring omission from the COP26 negotiations.

HSI’s #TheCowInTheRoom campaign called on COP26 to acknowledge and act on the climate damaging impacts of intensive animal agriculture. The campaign has the backing of leading plant-based food companies and investors including Beyond Investing, Mosa Meat, Eat Just, Wicked Kitchen and Linda McCartney Foods, as well as celebrities such as Moby, Billie Eilish, Joaquin Phoenix, Alan Cumming, Alicia Silverstone, Mary McCartney, Leona Lewis, Martin Freeman, Lily Cole and Stephen Fry. Earlier this week the campaigners handed in a petition of more than 70,000 signatures with campaign partners ProVeg International and Four Paws.

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Media Contact: Wendy Higgins: whiggins@hsi.org

YouGov poll shows over half of Brits support government-led campaign promoting plant-based foods. If Europe is to achieve its climate goals by 2030, it must reduce meat consumption and incentivise the consumption of plant-rich diets.

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


HSI

GLASGOW—Some of the world’s biggest plant-based food manufacturers and investors including Beyond Investing, Eat Just, Linda McCartney Foods and Wicked Kitchen have added their voice to #TheCowInTheRoom campaign at the COP26 climate change conference, calling on world leaders to stop ignoring animal agriculture in climate change mitigation policies and targets. The letter comes as a new YouGov opinion poll shows that over half of Brits (51%) would support the UK government initiating a joint campaign with supermarkets and food service / retail companies to actively promote the benefits of plant-based foods.

In an open letter to COP26 presented at the conference by Humane Society International, together with ProVeg International and Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, 16 companies urge world leaders to include animal agriculture, and meat and dairy reduction targets, in formal COP26 discussions. A citizen petition of over 70,000 signatures was also submitted to COP26 by the campaigners, with the backing of some of the world’s biggest celebrities including Joaquin Phoenix, Moby, Billie Eilish, Alan Cumming, Alicia Silverstone, Leona Lewis, Lily Cole and Stephen Fry.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said from COP26: “We simply cannot afford to ignore the cow in the room any longer—the science is clear that targets to reduce meat and dairy production and consumption are crucial if we are to meet internationally agreed upon climate targets. But while there is clear consumer and corporate appetite for a plant-based shift, politicians appear to be asleep at the wheel, failing to grasp both the urgent need and multiple opportunities to catalyse the normalisation of plant-centric diets. The Methane Pledge is a prime example of this; to reduce this potent GHG we simply need fewer cows, not just technological fixes that produce slightly less burpy cows.”

The food system is responsible for 30% of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions, of which 17% is attributable to livestock production. Moving to more plant-rich diets could decrease the EU’s carbon footprint by 50%.

ProVeg says European meat and dairy reduction targets should be bold to achieve Europe’s climate goals. Based on leading research, ProVeg calculates that by 2040:

  • The consumption of meat needs to be reduced by 79%.
  • The consumption of milk and dairy needs to be reduced by between 74 and 83%.
  • The consumption of eggs needs to be reduced by 68%.
  • The consumption of fish and seafood needs to be reduced by 65%.

Jasmijn de Boo, vice-president at ProVeg International, comments: “The urgency of reducing our global intake of meat, fish, eggs and dairy to tackle the climate crisis must be addressed, especially now that world leaders have reached an agreement during COP26 to tackle deforestation, and set a 30% methane reduction target. We need to move towards more plant-rich diets now to save our forests and to save the planet. If Europe is to achieve its climate goals by 2030, it will have to reduce the current intake of meat by 79% and incentivise the consumption of plant-rich diets. We need to go further and show leadership in order to have a just and fair global transition to more plant-based food production and consumption.”

Dr. Ming-nan Lin from the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and vice superintendent of Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, comments: “Global leaders and the private sector must engage with faith leaders and community partners to inspire respect for all life, with compassion and love. There are clear connections between human health and planetary health. Zoonosis, vector-borne diseases, and certain non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease have inextricable links to our dietary habits. The public health benefits of a transition towards a plant-centric food system has undeniable co-benefits to the health and wellbeing of the planet as well.”

The animal agriculture industry breeds, raises and slaughters more than 88 billion land animals globally every year. The industry’s emissions—a staggering 20% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions–are on par with those emitted by the entire global transportation sector, and yet targets and strategies to reduce meat and dairy production and consumption are absent from climate change discussions.

Scientists, too, are calling for the need to transform our global food system into one that supports and protects planetary and human health. The 107 experts who prepared the report for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change determined with high confidence that policies operating across the food system, including policies that influence dietary choices, would enable more sustainable land-use management, result in enhanced food security and low emissions trajectories, contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and improve public health.

Notes to editor:

  • Data on mentioned reduction targets can be found here.
  • Survey figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,749 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th – 30th October 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
  • Reference in this article to any specific commercial product or service, or the use of any brand, trade, firm or corporation name is for the information of the public only, and does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation or approval by Humane Society International or any of its affiliates of the product or service, or its producer or provider, and should not be construed or relied upon, under any circumstances, by implication or otherwise, as investment advice. The views and opinions of interviewees expressed in the article do not necessarily state or accurately reflect those of Humane Society International or any of its affiliates.

ENDS

Media Contacts:

Countries producing and consuming the most meat and dairy must include reduction targets, says Humane Society International

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


Cow
hiphotos35/istock

LONDON—Musician and animal activist Moby has called on the COP26 climate change conference to make the climate-damaging impacts of animal agriculture central to the agenda if world leaders hope to make meaningful pledges to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. Moby sent his message to COP26 President Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP via a video he produced with animal protection NGO Humane Society International, as part of its #TheCowInTheRoom campaign which is also supported by other celebrities including Billie Eilish, Joaquin Phoenix, Mary McCartney, Martin Freeman and Ricky Gervais, and more than 50 global animal welfare and environmental organisations.

Moby said: “When talking about animal agriculture—meat and dairy production—to people, a lot of them are not aware of the environmental consequences… Animal agriculture is one of the, if not the leading, cause of deforestation globally. To create a stable climate, we need to reform our global food system. We need to stop using animals for food, because animal agriculture is the third leading cause of climate change. You cannot practically and effectively address climate change without ending our alliance with meat and dairy production… Meat and dairy is destroying the only home we have. Ultimately, we have to address these issues, or these issues will destroy us.”

Watch the Video

The video, which is running across social media and will also be viewed at the COP26 event, highlights that animal agriculture is responsible for at least 14.5%—16.5% of human induced greenhouse gas emissions globally, on par with the global emissions from all transportation systems, yet is largely neglected by countries around the world in climate change mitigation strategies and commitments. The livestock industry is growing at a dramatic rate, with more than 88 billion land animals raised and slaughtered every year. As this man-made industry continues to grow, estimates indicate that by 2030, the livestock sector is projected to account for nearly 50 percent of the global emissions budget if we are to achieve the 1.5°C warming target set out in the Paris Agreement. In addition to significant greenhouse gasses, Moby also addresses that the farm animal production sector is the single largest man-made user of land, and a major driver of deforestation, species extinction, land degradation, exhaustion of water resources and pollution.

Moby and Humane Society International hope that formal recognition at COP26 of animal agriculture as a driver of climate change will encourage world leaders to commit to vital meat and dairy production and consumption reduction strategies to help meet the Paris Agreement’s below 2°C target.

Julie Janovsky, Humane Society International’s vice president for farm animal welfare, says: “Reducing the environmental impacts of our diets and transforming our global food systems to be more plant-based are some of the most effective climate-mitigation measures we can take, and the need to do so has never been more urgent. Despite this, the countries producing and consuming the most meat and dairy have yet to include reduction targets alongside other mitigation efforts for the primary climate change drivers in their Nationally Determined Contributions. If we want to prevent a climate change catastrophe, it is imperative that world leaders acknowledge and act to cut every major driver of climate change, including industrial animal agriculture. This industry is quite simply unsustainable. COP26 offers a vital opportunity for world leaders to make meaningful commitments to tackle climate change, restore biodiversity and help reduce the number of animals suffering on factory farms. We are pleased to see this message from  Moby and hope that Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP acknowledges his urgent and incredibly important message.”

Moby shares his top tips for people who want to consume more plant-based food: eat the plant-based version of the foods you already love, like spaghetti and (vegan) meatballs, and go online to educate yourself – ask yourself whether your actions are aligned with your values and intentions.

The public can join in calling on world leaders to recognise the impact of factory farming on climate change at COP26 by signing #TheCowInTheRoom petition at hsi.org/thecowintheroom. To find out more about the impact of intensive animal agriculture on our planet and the lives of animals around the world, visit hsi.org/issues/climate-change.

Farm Facts:

  • Animal agriculture is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
  • Consuming fewer animal products and eating more plant-based foods helps protect the world’s water supply. Producing large quantities of meat, milk and eggs requires huge amounts of water to grow feed, clean enclosures, hydrate the animals, as well as to process animal products. Producing 1 kg of chicken requires 4,325 litres of water on average, compared to the 1,644 litres needed to produce 1 kg of cereals. (Hoekstra 2015)
  • Eating more plant-based meals will reduce the amount of land used by agriculture. Worldwide, we need more land to raise and feed farm animals than for any other single purpose. More than 97% of soymeal and more than 60% of the barley and corn produced globally are fed to farm animals. (FAO)
  • The UN’s latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) report warned that the climate crisis is poised to get worse if greenhouse gas emissions continue to surge, and that the future of the planet depends on the choices that humanity makes today.

ENDS

Media Contact: Wendy Higgins: +44 (0)7989 972 423; whiggins@hsi.org

Boris Johnson urged to ban UK fur sales to end fur trade ticking time bomb

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


G20 fur signatures handin
Martina Pluda/HSI

ROME—Ahead of the G20 meeting this month in Rome, a petition of almost 900,000 signatures gathered by the Fur Free Alliance urging world leaders to permanently end fur farming to prevent continued outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 as well as protect against future zoonotic pandemics has been submitted. World leaders including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have also received a letter from the global coalition of animal NGOs, urging action. The UK banned fur farming in 2003 but still imports millions of pounds worth of fur from overseas, a practice that Fur Free Alliance member Humane Society International/UK is calling to be banned. The petition and letters come in the wake of 446 outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 on mink fur farms in the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Greece, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, Latvia, the United States and Canada, with the most recent outbreak in Spain this week.

A growing number of experts express grave concerns about the human health risks of the fur trade. In its report last November, the European Centre for Disease Control warned that the evolution of the virus in mink could undermine the effectiveness of vaccines in humans, and that “continued transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in mink farms may eventually give rise to other variants of concern.” In June this year, 67 virologists, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, veterinarians and animal behaviourists from across the globe called for action to end fur farming, and the World Organisation for Animal Health’s ad hoc Group on COVID-19 and Safe Trade in Animals and Animal Products has concluded that raw mink skins cannot be considered a safe commodity for international trade.

Jeffrey Flocken, president of Humane Society International, says: “Governments cannot respond to the COVID-19 crisis on mink fur farms simply by monitoring outbreaks and allowing fur farmers to continue business as usual. The appalling conditions on fur farms make them a ticking time bomb for pandemic disease risk. Disease transmission experts warn that it is a matter of when, and not if, another deadly virus hits if we continue to keep animals in these unnatural and horrific conditions. Now, hundreds of thousands of global citizens are also urging G20 leaders to publicly acknowledge that fur farming must end.”

Fourteen countries including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hungary and Lithuania have already acted to ban fur farming, and the practice is currently suspended in Denmark, Italy and Sweden. However, many countries across Europe, China, Russia and North America continue to intensively rear tens of millions of fox, mink and raccoon dogs, all of which are species susceptible to coronaviruses. For the sake of fur fashion, these animals spend their entire lives confined to tiny, barren, wire cages that not only cause immense suffering, but also present a serious public-health risk. The cramped conditions, poor hygiene, stress, injuries, disease, minimal veterinary care and lack of genetic diversity all mean that fur farms create ideal conditions for viruses to be transmitted and to mutate, creating new strains.

Rare but concerning cases of animal-to-human disease transmission have been documented. Research in the Netherlands using whole genome sequencing revealed that at least 66 people working on mink fur farms became infected with SARS-CoV-2, and the preliminary report of an outbreak of SARS- CoV-2 in mink and mink farmers in Denmark, published in February 2021, researchers concluded that 19% of people identified as being connected to mink farms became infected, with approximately 4,000 human cases estimated to be infected with a mink variant.

Download Photos/Video of Undercover Investigation at a Chinese Fur Farm

Download Photos/Video of Undercover Investigation at a Finnish Fur Farm

Facts: 

  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been documented on 446 mink fur farms in 12 different countries in Europe and North America since April 2020, including Canada (three farms), Denmark (290 farms), France (one farm), Greece (25 farms), Italy (two farms), Latvia (one farm), Lithuania (four farms), Netherlands (69 farms), Poland (three farm), Spain (17 farms), Sweden (14 farms) and the United States (17 farms).
  • More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide, on fur farms and trapped in the wild—that’s equivalent to three animals dying every second, just for their fur.
  • Fur farming has been banned and/or is in the process of being phased-out in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. France, the Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Spain and Ukraine are also considering bans on fur farming.
  • Earlier this year Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur. In the United States, California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019 following similar bans in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood. The towns of Weston and Wellesley in Massachusetts and the city of Ann Arbor in Michigan have also recently banned fur sales, and more US cities and states are looking to follow suit.

Download Photos

ENDS

Media contact: Wendy Higgins: whiggins@hsi.org

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


World’s biggest plant-based celebrities tell COP26 President Alok Sharma “stop ignoring the cow in the room”

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


dhughes9/iStock.com

LONDON—Some of the world’s biggest celebrity advocates for plant-based diets, including Moby, Billie Eilish, Joaquin Phoenix, Alan Cumming, Alicia Silverstone, Leona Lewis, Lily Cole and Stephen Fry, have written to Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, president of the COP26 climate change conference to be held in Glasgow this November, to stop ignoring animal agriculture as a catastrophic climate change culprit, and to put it on the COP26 agenda for world leaders to discuss. The letter was sent in support of the recently launched #TheCowInTheRoom campaign, by global animal protection charity Humane Society International.

Globally, more than 88 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for food every year. Intensive animal farming is responsible for an estimated 14.5%—16.5% of human induced greenhouse gas emissions globally, on par with emissions levels of the entire transport sector. Despite being one of the largest contributors to climate change, animal agriculture is not on the COP26 agenda as a priority in climate change mitigation discussions. COP26 is organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Studies show that reducing meat and dairy production and consumption is one of the most effective actions we can take to avoid catastrophic climate change. The letter, which is also signed by Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley, singer-songwriter Alesha Dixon, naturalist Chris Packham, entrepreneur and Dragons Den investor Deborah Meaden, actress Evanna Lynch, song writer and record producer Finneas O’Connell, the Vamps’ vocalist and guitarist James McVey, actress Joanna Lumley OBE, comedian and actor Ricky Gervais and compassionate lifestyle influencer Lucy Watson calls on the COP26 conference to formally acknowledge animal agriculture’s climate impact.

Humane Society International and its celebrity advocates share a passion for protecting animals and the planet through practical policies and actions, and they hope that formal recognition at COP26 will encourage world leaders to commit to vital meat and dairy consumption reduction strategies to help meet the Paris Agreement’s below 2°C target.

The letter reads: “With animal agriculture being such a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, it is impossible to meet goals set out in the Paris Agreement without making changes to our global food system. Even if all other major sources of emissions were reformed, we will still fall short… Addressing these urgent areas in the UNFCCC COP26 meeting would help propel governments around the world to take action and would provide world leaders with another high impact option to add to their toolbox for tackling climate change. We call on the UNFCCC to formally and publicly recognise the role of animal agriculture as one of the largest contributors of climate change and to open a greater space for dialogue.”

Singer, songwriter and animal rights activist Moby, said: “Intensively farming animals for food is, simply, destroying our planet. Animal agriculture is the second-highest CO2 emitter in the world, yet it remains largely ignored by world leaders. The science is clear and overwhelming; that adopting a more plant-based diet is one of the most impactful actions we can take to avert catastrophic climate change. So, if we want to protect our planet, we must include intensive animal agriculture in climate change mitigation strategies. COP26 is the ideal opportunity to do this, and one of our last vital changes to reform our global food systems. I beg you, please; STOP ignoring the cow in the room.”

In addition to significant greenhouse gas emissions, the farm animal production sector is also the single largest anthropogenic user of land, with meat, egg, dairy and aquaculture production systems using approximately 83% of the world’s farmland while providing just 37% of the world’s protein and 18% of calories. Animal agriculture is also a major driver of deforestation, species extinction, land degradation, pollution and exhaustion of water resources.

Julie Janovsky, Humane Society International’s vice president for farm animal welfare, says: “If we are serious about avoiding climate catastrophe, it is imperative that world leaders acknowledge and act to cut every major driver of climate change, including industrial animal agriculture. Intensive animal farming is unsustainable, and that transforming our global food systems to more plant-based diets is one of the most effective climate-mitigation measures we can take. COP26 offers a vital opportunity for world leaders to make meaningful commitments to tackle climate change, restore biodiversity and help end the cruelty caused by factory farms.”

Farm Facts:

  • According to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, animal agriculture is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” (FAO)
  • Consuming fewer animal products and eating more plant-based foods, we can help protect the world’s water supply. Producing meat, milk and eggs requires huge amounts of water: growing feed, cleaning housing enclosures, hydrating the animals, disposing their waste or disinfecting slaughtering equipment. Producing 1 kg of chicken requires 4,325 litres of water on average, compared to the 1,644 litres needed to produce 1 kg of cereals. (Hoekstra 2015)
  • Eating more plant-based meals will reduce the amount of land used by agriculture. Worldwide, we need more land to raise and feed farm animals than for any other single purpose. More than 97% of soymeal and more than 60% of the barley and corn produced globally are fed to farm animals. (FAO)
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) report revealed that the climate crisis is poised to get worse if greenhouse gas emissions continue to surge.
  • By 2030, the livestock sector is projected to account for almost half of the world’s emissions budget for 1.5C unless things change. (Harwatt 2019)

ENDS

Media Contact: Leozette Roode: Lroode@hsi.org; +27 713601104

Fur trade labelled as ‘barbaric,’ ‘cruel,’ ‘utterly illogical,’ ‘outmoded’ and ‘inhumane’

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


Theodora Iona /PETA UK CEOs and Directors from five of the UK’s largest animal protection organisations,  Humane Society International/UK, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (UK), FOUR PAWS UK, Open Cages and the RSPCA, gathered with campaigners in geometric fox masks at the gates of No 10 Downing street to submit 1 million #FurFreeBritain petition signatures to the Prime Minister, calling for the UK to ban the sale of cruel animal fur.

LONDON—In Parliament’s first fur debate since leaving the European Union, MPs from across the political spectrum have called on the government to ban the sale and import of real animal fur in Britain. All 18 of the MPs who spoke did so in favour of a ban during yesterday’s Westminster Hall debate, referring to the trade as ‘barbaric’, ‘cruel’, ‘utterly illogical’, ‘outmoded’ and ‘inhumane’. The debate was held after a 1 million signature petition was recently delivered to the Prime Minister by the #FurFreeBritain campaign, led by Humane Society International/UK. HSI/UK thanked MPs for their compassionate contributions and urged the government to “consign fur cruelty to the history books.”

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, says: “Every MP who spoke at this debate reflected the views of their constituents by supporting a ban on fur imports and sales, and calling for Britain to end its bloody business with the international fur trade. DEFRA Parliamentary Under Secretary Rebecca Pow, and Environment Secretary George Eustice can have been left in no doubt that there is overwhelming political as well as public support for a UK fur ban. If we are a nation of animal lovers, Britain cannot remain complicit in the appalling suffering of millions of fur-bearing animals caged or trapped overseas, all for frivolous fur fashion. We urge Government to consign fur cruelty to the history books by introducing legislation to ban the import and sale of real animal fur as soon as possible.”

Download the Full Debate

Since banning fur farming more than two decades ago in 2000, Britain has imported more than £800 million worth of fur from countries including Finland, China, France and Poland, where tormented animals such as foxes and mink suffer for their entire lives in barren battery cages, measuring around one square metre. Coyote, beaver and other animals are also trapped and killed in the wild using cruel traps that are also banned in the UK.

Notable quotes from MPs at the debate include:

  • Conservative MP Christian Wakeford who called for the debate, said: “It’s now time that we end the double-standard of having a ban on fur farming, whilst importing the same cruelty from overseas. The fur industry would appear to me to be an industry that is outmoded and out of touch with modern values and principles of the humane treatment of animals, and I implore my Parliamentary colleagues to join me in condemning it to the history books as we have done for so many other cruel and archaic treatments of animals. Following the call for evidence on the fur trade held by the Government over the summer; given the strong public and Parliamentary support for this measure; and noting the Government’s commitment and ambition to be a world leader on animal welfare standards – I ask the Minister to use her response to today’s debate to reassure me and everyone in this room today that legislative action to end the UK’s involvement in the global fur trade will be imminently forthcoming. It’s not just the popular thing to do; it’s the right thing to do.” 
  • Tracey Crouch MP, from the British Conservative Party, said: “There is huge cross-party support on this issue, reflecting public opinion, and there’s really only one outcome from this which is that we should ban fur sales, full stop.”
  • Dr Lisa Cameron MP for the Scottish National Party said: “It’s not just the humane thing to do, but there’s also a public health interest in making sure this happens.
  • Conservative MP Jason McCartney said: “When we set the standard some twenty years ago by banning fur farming here in the UK, other countries followed our lead, so if we can set the example here, we will not only help animal welfare by what we do as a country, other countries will follow, so let’s take the lead.”
  • British Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale said: “There is, in this day and age, absolutely no justification whatsoever for using real fur because there are so many synthetic alternatives that are good and available…  It’s completely anomalous that we should ban fur farming in the United Kingdom and then allow the product to be imported from other countries. It’s got to stop, it can stop now. The Government has a good track record on animal welfare legislation, I urge my friend the right honourable Minister to make sure this is added to that portfolio. Let’s stop it now.”
  • Scottish National Party MP Steve Bonnar said: “Fur farming has been rightly banned in the UK since 2003, yet we continue to import tens of millions of pounds of animal fur each year. If it is too cruel an industry to have on our shores, than how can we justify importing fur that is farmed using the same inhumane methods, which are illegal in the UK? All have managed to do is outsource our animal cruelty overseas.” He added “Dangerous viruses thrive when animals are kept in filthy, crowded conditions. By allowing the sale of fur in Britain, we are inadvertently supporting a reservoir of deadly viruses.”
  • Taiwo Owatemi, Labour MP for Coventry North West, said: “The government has shown some willingness and stated it wants to drive up animal welfare standards in the United Kingdom. Well, banning the fur trade in its entirety, including fur imports, would be a bold step towards reaching these aims. We need actions, not just warm words from the government. In doing so we will have the overwhelming support of the animal loving British public.

Responding on behalf of the government, DEFRA Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Rebecca Pow MP noted that it was clear from the interventions at the debate that there was “great strength of feeling on this topic” and that “animal welfare is an absolute priority of this government”. However, she went on to state that she was “not in a position to introduce any next steps on the fur trade today” but that “we are building a strong evidence base on which to inform any future policy, noting information from a range of sources, including industry associated with the fur trade and notable retailers who have recently gone fur-free…” Pow also cited the “incredible 30,000 responses” the government received to the recent Call for Evidence which she said demonstrated “the strong feeling in this area.”

To date the #FurFreeBritain campaign has enjoyed much cross-party political support. Last year Tracey Crouch MP tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM267) which received the support of 140 MPs and current Early Day Motion (EDM193), tabled in June 2021, already has 103 signatures.

This month, more than 100 MPs and Peers from various parties wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Rt Hon George Eustice MP, calling on the UK Government to ban the import and sale of animal fur.

There is also significant public support for ending the double standard of UK fur imports and sales. DEFRA’s recent Call for Evidence on the UK fur trade received over 30,000 responses, and more than 1 million petition signatures have been delivered to the Prime Minister in support of #FurFreeBritain. Public opinion polls consistently show widespread backing for a UK fur sales ban; a Yonder opinion poll published in May 2021 found that 72% of Brits support a ban on the import and sale of all animal fur, replicating exactly the same majority support demonstrated by a YouGov opinion poll in 2020 which also revealed Brits’ scathing view of fur as ‘unethical,’ ‘outdated, ‘cruel’ and ‘out of touch.’

Earlier this year Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur, and in the United States the city of Ann Arbor in Michigan joined Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood in California, and the towns of Weston and Wellesley in Massachusetts, in also banning fur sales. California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019.

Fur Facts:

  • More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide including mink, fox, raccoon dog, chinchilla and coyote—that’s equal to three animals dying every second, just for their fur. Rabbits are also killed for their fur, likely to be in the hundreds of millions.
  • Fur comes with a hefty environmental price tag. Whilst all materials have some eco-footprint, when compared to other textiles, fur takes a significant toll in terms of the C02emissions associated with keeping and feeding tens of thousands of carnivorous animals on a farm, the manure runoff into lakes and rivers, and the cocktail of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as chromium and formaldehyde used to preserve the fur and skin to stop it from rotting.
  • An increasing number of fashion designers and retailers are dropping fur cruelty. In the last few years alone Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Prada and other high-profile brands have announced fur-free policies. In addition, major online fashion retail platforms Net-A-Porter and Farfetch have adopted fur-free policies.
  • Fur farming is not only cruel to animals, it also presents risks to public health. A June letter signed by over 60 veterinarians and virologists highlighted outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 on hundreds of mink fur farms across a dozen countries, and the potential for such farms to act as reservoirs for the virus. It also notes the potential for fur farms to create future zoonotic diseases, stating: “The intensive breeding conditions typical on fur farms—animals unnaturally crowded together, poor hygiene, stress, injuries and low genetic diversity—are ideal for the creation and spread of novel pathogens.” Signatories to the letter support “a permanent global end to the breeding, keeping and killing of animals for the purposes of fur production, and the sale of fur.”

Download Photos/Video from the #FurFreeBritain Campaign

Download Photos/Video from the HSI Chinese Fur Farm Investigation

ENDS

Media contact: Leozette Roode: Lroode@hsi.org; + 27 71 360 1104

Defra urged to release results of over 30,000 responses to its Call for Evidence on the UK fur trade

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


Raccoon dogs and foxes intensively farmed for fur in Asia, filmed November-December 2020.

LONDON—A group of more than 100 cross-party MPs and Peers has written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Rt Hon George Eustice MP calling on the UK Government to cut Britain’s ties with the cruel fur industry by banning the import and sale of animal fur. Humane Society International/UK, which leads the Fur Free Britain campaign and co-ordinated the letter, is also calling on Defra to publish its analysis of the 30,000 responses submitted to its Call For Evidence on the fur trade earlier this year.

Fur farming was banned across the UK more than two decades ago in 2000, with Britain’s last remaining fur farm closing its doors in 2003. But, since then, Britain has imported more than £800 million worth of fur from countries including Finland, China, France and Poland, where tormented animals such as foxes and mink suffer for their entire lives in barren battery cages, measuring around one square metre. Continuing to allow the import and sale of fur deemed too cruel to produce on our own shores is an unacceptable double standard, say the Parliamentarians and HSI/UK.

The letter reads: “We strongly believe the fur trade is a cruel and outdated practice, which has no place in the UK.

The Government has previously said that a sales ban would be incompatible with our membership of the European Union and, as such, no action could be taken at that time. The UK has now left the EU, and the Government has an opportunity – following the call for evidence on the fur trade held earlier this year – to act as a global leader in moral standards and extend existing fur trade bans (for cat, dog and seal fur) to all animals, thus eliminating illogical protections for some species above others.

With the vast majority of UK high street stores now fur-free, a ban would have limited impact on businesses, and a proper and reasonable phase-out period would ensure that the few businesses still centred on fur could transition to alternative materials.”

Last autumn, Defra Minister Lord Goldsmith stated that: “Fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for nearly 20 years and at the end of the transition period we will be able to properly consider steps to raise our standards still further. That is something the Government is very keen to do.”

In their letter to the Secretary of State, MPs and Peers are now urging the Government to make good on that pledge.

Conservative MP Christian Wakeford who championed the letter, said: “The UK has entered a new chapter in its trading relationship with the rest of the world: banning fur sales will send a strong message that we intend to use this new beginning to set ourselves apart as world leaders in animal welfare. We were trailblazers in banning fur farming almost 20 years ago, and now Brexit has given us the opportunity to set a global example on animal welfare again. There has never been a better time to end our association with this cruel, outdated and unnecessary practice and I hope the strength of cross-party feeling on this issue encourages the Government to introduce a ban at the earliest opportunity.” 

SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron said: “The UK’s current position on fur is entirely out of step with UK public opinion. Recent polling shows that 72% of the British public support a fur sales ban, and an estimated 83% have never worn fur – this is reflected by our high streets, where almost all stores are ‘fur free.’ Government should take heed of public sentiment, reflected and reinforced by the support of over one hundred Parliamentarians for this cross-party letter, and pursue a fur sales ban without delay.”

Labour MP Maria Eagle said: “The coronavirus pandemic should force governments the world over to reconsider the way we farm, keep, and interact with animals. Exploiting fur-bearing wild species in unsanitary, overcrowded and inhumane factory farms is not only cruel, but also imposes potentially devastating public health risks. Our cross-party letter to the Environment Secretary follows the recent call by over 60 vets and virologists, encouraging governments globally to end fur farming to prevent further disease outbreaks. Following the recent call for evidence on the fur trade in the UK, Ministers must act now to ban fur sales in this country.”

More than one million petition signatures have been gathered in support of #FurFreeBritain, and public opinion polls consistently show that a UK fur sales ban would also enjoy widespread public backing. A Yonder opinion poll published in May 2021 found that 72% of the British public support a ban on the import and sale of all animal fur, replicating exactly the majority support demonstrated by a YouGov opinion poll a year earlier which also revealed Brits’ scathing view of fur as ‘unethical,’ ‘outdated,, ‘cruel’ and ‘out of touch.’

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said: “Furs from around two million tormented animals are imported into the UK each year and there is huge public and political support for Britain to stop this trade in cruelty. This letter shows clear cross-party political appetite for the Government to bring forward legislation to ban fur imports and sales.

We are also urging the Government to publish its analysis of the 30,000 responses received from members of the public and industry to its recent Call for Evidence. If opinion polls are anything to go by, we believe that the vast majority of those responses will be supportive of a ban and will want to see Britain show global leadership towards an end to this cruel, outmoded and unnecessary industry. For as long as fur is traded in Britain, we remain shamefully complicit in the suffering and death of millions of fur bearing animals for frivolous fashion.”

Earlier this year Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur, and in the United States the city of Ann Arbor in Michigan joined Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood in California, and the towns of Weston and Wellesley in Massachusetts, in also banning fur sales. California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019.

Fur Facts:

  • More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide including mink, fox, raccoon dog, chinchilla and coyote – that’s equal to three animals dying every second, just for their fur. Rabbits are also killed for their fur, likely to be in the hundreds of millions.
  • Fur comes with a hefty environmental price tag. Whilst all materials have some eco-footprint, when compared to other textiles, fur takes a significant toll in terms of the C02 emissions associated with keeping and feeding tens of thousands of carnivorous animals on a farm, the manure runoff into lakes and rivers, and the cocktail of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as chromium and formaldehyde used to preserve the fur and skin to stop it from rotting.
  • An increasing number of fashion designers and retailers are dropping fur cruelty. In the last few years alone Canada Goose, Oscar de la Rente, Valentino, Macy’s and Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Prada and other high-profile brands have announced fur-free policies. In addition, major online fashion retail platforms Net-A-Porter and Farfetch have adopted fur-free policies.
  • Fur farming is not only cruel to animals, it also presents risks to public health. A June letter signed by over 60 veterinarians and virologists highlighted outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 on hundreds of mink fur farms across a dozen countries, and the potential for such farms to act as reservoirs for the virus. It also notes the potential for fur farms to create future zoonotic diseases, stating: “The intensive breeding conditions typical on fur farms – animals unnaturally crowded together, poor hygiene, stress, injuries and low genetic diversity – are ideal for the creation and spread of novel pathogens.” Signatories to the letter support “a permanent global end to the breeding, keeping and killing of animals for the purposes of fur production, and the sale of fur.”

Download Photos/Video from the #FurFreeBritian Campaign

Download Photos/Video from the Chinese Fur Farm Investigation

Download Photos/Video from the Finnish Fur Farm Investigation

ENDS

Media Contact: Leozette Roode: Lroode@hsi.org; + 27 71 360 1104

Climate change conference can no longer ignore climate impacts of industrialised animal agriculture

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


dhughes9/iStock.com Cattle awaiting slaughter in a feedlot.

LONDON—More than 50 animal protection, environmental and food justice organisations from around the globe have written to Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, president of the COP26 climate change conference organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), calling on the UNFCCC to publicly recognise the catastrophic impact animal agriculture has on the planet at this year’s conference.

In the animal agriculture industry, more than 88 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for food every year. This industry is responsible for an estimated 14.5%—16.5% of human induced greenhouse gas emissions globally, on par with emissions levels of the entire transport sector. Despite animal agriculture being one of the largest contributors to climate change, it is largely neglected by countries around the world in climate change mitigation strategies and commitments.

The letter, signed by Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, Brighter Green Compassion in World Farming, 50by40, Animal Equality, FOUR PAWS International, ProVeg International, RSPCA, The Humane League and others calls on the COP26 conference, taking place in Glasgow in November, to formally acknowledge animal agriculture’s climate impact. The groups hope that formal recognition at COP26 will encourage world leaders to commit to meat and dairy consumption reduction strategies to meet the Paris Agreement’s below 2°C target.

The letter reads: “Addressing these urgent areas in the UNFCCC COP26 meeting would help propel governments around the world to take action and would provide world leaders with another high impact option to add to their toolbox for tackling climate change. Working with farmers to support and catalyse a shift towards more plant-centric food production and consumption is a proactive step that must be taken to future-proof global food and agricultural industries… We call on the UNFCCC to formally and publicly recognise the role of animal agriculture as one of the largest contributors of climate change and to open a greater space for dialogue.”

In addition to significant greenhouse gas emissions, the farm animal production sector is also the single largest anthropogenic user of land, with meat, egg, dairy and aquaculture production systems using approximately 83% of the world’s farmland while providing just 37% of the world’s protein and 18% of calories. Animal agriculture is also a major driver of deforestation, species extinction, land degradation, exhaustion of water resources and pollution.

Reducing meat and dairy production and consumption is one of the most effective actions we can take to avoid catastrophic climate change. Scientists agree—including the 107 experts who prepared a report for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the more than 11,000 signatories from 153 countries to a recent paper in the journal BioScience —that global shifts towards more plant-based diets will be key in tackling climate change.

The UN’s latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) report revealed that the climate crisis is poised to get worse if greenhouse gas emissions continue to surge, and that the future of the planet depends on the choices that humanity makes today. The report is a stark warning that if we want to win the ‘Race to Zero’, it’s imperative that we tackle every major driver of climate change, including intensive animal agriculture, collaboratively across all countries.

Julie Janovsky, Humane Society International’s vice president for farm animal welfare, says: “When it comes to the impacts of animal agriculture on climate change, we cannot continue to kick the can down the road.  While many governments and constituencies have recognized and taken action to address the impacts of the energy and transport sector, governments have yet to adopt policies to reduce the impact of large-scale, intensive animal agriculture on the environment. If we are serious about avoiding climate catastrophe, world leaders must acknowledge the science and implement strategies to change our global food system to one that significantly reduces industrial animal agriculture. Reducing the number of animals raised and slaughtered is a legitimate and essential component of tackling climate change, restoring biodiversity and ending the cruelty caused by factory farms. Ignoring the immense climate impact of industrial animal farming is no longer an option, and the COP26 climate change conference offers a vital opportunity for world leaders to take action.”

Cities and countries are beginning to acknowledge and make an effort to reduce meat consumption as a climate change mitigation strategy. Earlier this year, France announced that its climate and resilience bill encourages a more plant-based diet to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The bill includes that by 2023, all school cafeterias will have to feature one compulsory vegetarian menu once a week, and that at least one daily vegetarian option should be offered in all state-run canteens. Shortly after, the City Council of Berkeley in the United States also passed a resolution to divert half of the city’s spending money from animal-based foods to plant-based foods by 2024. Further, the Council will also look to adopt a long-term goal of replacing 100% of animal products with plant-based products to combat climate change.

The open NGO-led letter is signed by:

  • 50by40
  • A Well-Fed World
  • AbibiNsroma Foundation
  • Albert Schweitzer Stiftung für unsere Mitwelt
  • Alianima
  • Animal Equality
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Animals Aotearoa
  • Aquatic Life Institute
  • Bank Information Center
  • Brighter Green
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Coalition for Sustainable Food Practices
  • Compassion in World Farming
  • Creature Kind
  • Default Veg
  • Djurens Rätt
  • Earthjustice
  • Eat for the Earth
  • Eurogroup for Animals
  • EuroVeg
  • Factory Farming Awareness Coalition
  • Farm Forward
  • Farm Sanctuary
  • Feedback
  • Fish Welfare Initiative
  • Foundation for Advice and Action in the Defence of Animals (FAADA)
  • FOUR PAWS International
  • Fundación Vegetarianos Hoy
  • Green REV Institute
  • Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program
  • Humane Society International
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • Jem pre Zem
  • LAV
  • Nourish Scotland
  • One Kind
  • Phoenix Zones Initiatives
  • Plant Based Health Professionals UK
  • ProVeg International
  • RSPCA
  • Science and Environmental Health Network
  • Sinergia Animal
  • Song Thuan Chay
  • The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries
  • The Humane League
  • The Humane League UK
  • The Raven Corps
  • True Animal Protein Price Coalition
  • True Health Initiative
  • Vegan Society
  • Veganuary
  • VegeProject Japan (VPJ)

ENDS

Media Contact: Leozette Roode, HSI/UK: +27 (0)713601104; LRoode@hsi.org

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