The most relevant question is to ask, whether the mankind has the right to use animals for production use or not. If you answer that mankind has this right, all production animals should be treated in the same way.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF FUR PRODUCTION?
If you allow importing furs, people to buy and use furs, then I don’t understand why to ban European fur production. It generates significant amounts of export revenue, employment and tax income in several European countries. In Finland for instance the value of fur production is nearly 400 million. Fur production is very important for Ostrobothnian area in Finland.
Also the higher parts of the value chain – as the fur-trade and fashion industry – generates income and employment in Europe.
DO YOU FAVOUR EUROPEAN OR NATIONAL REGULATIONS WHEN IT COMES TO ANIMAL WELFARE?
I favour European regulation.
SINCE 2009, THE SALES VALUE OF EUROPEAN PRODUCED FUR HAS GROWN FROM 794 MILLION EURO TO 2,114 MILLION EURO – AN INCREASE OF 167%. WHAT DO YOU THINK CHARACTERIZES THIS DEVELOPMENT?
The European fur production holds a high standard and has been able to compete in the fast growing markets in china and Russia. It is said that especially consumer demand in china has fuelled demand.
SOME EUROPEAN COUNTRIES HAVE DECIDED TO BAN FUR FARMING. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS?
They have the right to do so. Independent countries make own decisions about fur industry but i am not in favor of banning it in Finland. I think that banning fur production for example in the Netherlands is leading to situation where production moves to other countries with less strict enforcement.
DO YOU SEE FUR AS AN UNNECESSARY LUXURY ITEM?
If you start to think what is necessary and what is unnecessary, i suppose you could say that all luxury items are not necessary.
ETHICALLY SPEAKING, DO YOU CONSIDER ANIMAL WELFARE WHILST THE FARM ANIMAL IS ALIVE OR THE ULTIMATE USE OF THE ANIMAL TO BE MOST IMPORTANT?
I think that all animals should be treated with respect. We should not tolerate suffering of animals even if it they are raised for production.
Shortened version published in Parliament Magazine. Full interview in http://www.furinformationcenter.eu/opinion/anneli-jaeaetteenmaeki.aspx