Thursday, March 3, 2011

Swedish fur farms: twisting the truth

Last year the Swedish animal rights alliance made public disturbing footage of swedish mink farms. The footage showed animals suffering and living under horrid conditions because of the whims of fashion victims.

Peta even published the material on their website:A shocking look inside swedish fur farms

The fur trade was - naturally - up in arms and their propaganda did the job, as usual. And as usual - in the end - it turns out that the animal activists were right. The animals were suffering, these were no isolated incidents and the animal rights activists sure didn't 'forge' any evidence.

Proof? A recent article in swedish newspaper GP has all the proof you need.

GP

(translations are in italic)

I augusti förra året – mitt under brinnande valrörelse – kablades Djurrättsalliansens bilder från svenska minkfarmar ut. Aktivisternas smygtagna filmer visade djur som åt av varandra, hade stora köttsår, ...

August last year - during the elections in Sweden - animal rights goup 'Djurrättsalliansens' (animal rights alliance) published images made in swedish mink farms. The footage showed animals eating each other, wounds,...

The swedish fur trade branded the horror as 'propaganda'.

In response to the media storm many of the farms were inspected.

Under fyra dagar besöktes 30 av landets 70 minkfarmar. Några dagar senare redovisas den viktigaste slutsatsen: kontrollresultaten tyder inte på någon utbredd vanvård eller generellt dålig omsorg om djuren.

In less than four days 30 of the country's 70 fur farms were inspected. According to the inspectors there were no signs of animal abuse.

The fur industry used this to their advantage, as did the right wing politicians who supported them during the election (and won).

A week later however a full report was released. And this report was analysed by reporters from 'GP'.

En vecka senare, när den värsta mediestormen blåst över, kom den fullständiga rapporten från kontrollerna. GP:s genomgång av protokollen visar att inspektörerna i själva verket hade funnit en mängd brister.

A week later, when the worst of the media storm was over, the full report of the inspections was released. GP went through the material and discovered that the inspectors had found many infractions

They found:

1. Many dead and sick animals
2. Animals with wounds
3. Unhygienic cages
4. ...

Kontrollerna visade att det var en hel del beteendestörningar hos minkarna och det fanns en hel del kritik från inspektörer, säger Johan Beck-Friis, informationschef på Sveriges veterinärförbund (SFV).

According to Johan Beck-Friis of the veterinary association of Sweden (Sveriges veterinärförbund) the inspectors found many mink having stereotypical behavior and mink farmers were critized by the inspectors.

This of course isn't what the public got to hear in the media. What the people got the hear was that everything was fine. In short: lies. Politicians and fur trade insiders twisting the truth to their advantage.

The only way the fur industry can be defended is by twisting the truth into something that suits them and then repeating it in the media over and over again. That says a lot about the fur trade doesn't it? And that is propaganda.

This on the other hand, is what is really happening:

Horror revealed on Swedish fur farms from Djurrättsalliansen on Vimeo.

(swedish fur farm footage)

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