The organization Anima International released a new investigation on the biggest mink farm in Bulgaria, carried out between the autumn and winter of 2021. The farm houses over 100,000 animals and is located in Madzehito, a small town on the outskirts of Stara Zagora.

The shocking footage (see here) reveals inadequate living conditions, filthy and insane environment, minks escaped from their tiny overcrowded cages, animals suffering from severe untreated wounds while others forced to live besides their dead companions, despite the facility has been declared to be certified by Welfur, a certification programme which claims to ensure that farms provide adequate welfare standards for animals farmed for their fur.

“The investigators documented animals in horrible conditions with wounds that seemingly have never been treated on their tails and backs. It seems as if no one inspected the animal health sufficiently, to provide proper treatment for animals in need. Some animals were found dead in their cages, their companions not being separated from them, nor their bodies removed by farm workers. What can be observed in the footage is a general state of neglect: broken cages with leftover food on them, cobwebs and filth below and above the cages, some animals running freely around the perimeter of the farm.” – Anima International

On 1 June, the Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov announced a ban on breeding or importing American Mink in Bulgaria, following concerns over threats to native biodiversity and surrounding ecosystems caused from escaped animals that, as the investigation clearly revealed, were found freely roaming the facility.

Whilst this is a positive step forward, fur farms all over Europe continue to breed fur animals in very poor conditions. The European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe is now calling for a ban on fur farming across the European Union, as well as a ban on farmed fur products.

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