Fur farming is inextricably linked with nature and animals. Sustainable development is, therefore, a necessary guarantee of its success.

The development of fur farming in Ukraine is based on three principles: promoting the public good, benefiting the environment, and benefiting people.

The aforementioned principles are part of the Strategy for the sustainable development of fur industry, a global document which seeks to strike a balance between satisfying the modern needs of mankind and protecting the interests of future generations, including their need for a safe environment. The strategy correlates with an even more global document, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For more information on this subject, you may refer to the IFF.

Statistics of European fur associations, international fur auctions and the UN Comtrade database on global trade data indicate that a lot of developed countries engage in fur farming and the production of natural fur, including 22 European countries, which account for 50 % of the world’s gross production of natural fur.

Among the EU member states, the leaders in this area are Denmark, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Bulgaria.

It is noteworthy that Denmark, a country that is small in size, is ranked first in the EU and in the world in terms of fur farming development (about 1,400 fur farms produce more than 17 million skins per year, which is about 30 % of the world’s total).

In Poland, there are about 600 fur farms, which produce about 5 million skins per year.

In the Netherlands, despite its small size, there are about 300 fur farms (mostly family businesses) that produce about 4 million skins per year, which makes it third in the EU after Denmark and Poland.

Among the developed countries which are not EU members, the leaders in the production of fur are Canada (250 fur farms and 1.5 million skins per year) and the USA (350 farms and 3.9 million skins per year).

The share of Ukraine in the global volume of natural fur production at present is not significant, and at the end of 2017, amounted to about 0.63 million, which is only 1 % of the world’s total. Mostly, this is due to the fact that after a long decay in the 90s and 2000s, serious investments in the development of modern fur farms in Ukraine were made relatively recently (only during the past 6 years).

At the same time, Ukraine has a strong agrarian sector, which in the long run provides good opportunities for increasing its share in the world market of natural fur up to 10 %. We have all the conditions to achieve this: large forage capacity and the potential (the amount of waste at poultry farms and fish processing enterprises increases each year), trust of Ukrainian society and respect for fur farming as one of the areas of animal husbandry, incredibly hardworking people and the desire of European investors to invest in the agrarian sector of Ukraine.

At the level of EU legislation, fur farms are currently a fully permitted type of economic activity, but very stringent requirements apply. Ukraine follows these requirements and fully complies with them. Otherwise, domestic fur farms would not be able to pass all stages of certification for compliance with the requirements of WelFur, the European animal welfare assessment program, which sets out more stringent requirements than those envisaged by EU legislation.

In response to today’s challenges, the UFFA initiated the drafting and registration at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of two draft laws (No. 10019–1 of February 20, 2019 and No. 10019–2 of February 21, 2019) which in one form or another provide for:

  • the need to develop and approve by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food the requirements for keeping certain types of animals, including fur animals;
  • strengthening the requirements for the assessment of environmental impact during the construction of fur farms;
  • introduction of licensing of economic activities for keeping certain species of wild animals;
  • strengthening administrative liability for ill-treatment of animals, as well as for violating the rules of keeping animals, including fur animals;
  • introduction of criminal liability for violations of environmental legislation occurred as a result of keeping farm animals, including fur animals.

In addition, the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection of Ukraine officially announced that it has drafted, together with European experts, Rules on killing (slaughtering animals), the scope of which will extend in particular to fur animals. Representatives of the UFFA take an active part in the development of regulation of this important issue and the aforementioned draft rules are already available on the website of the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection for public discussion.

Also, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine has initiated the drafting of programs for developing various animal husbandry sectors. In order to expedite this work, the UFFA representatives recently joined the work on the State Program for the Development of Fur Production in Ukraine, which will cover the industry’s prospects for the next 10 years. The main purpose of this state program is to increase the production of fur in Ukraine and increase Ukraine’s share in the world market of fur products. It is expected that the program will be approved by the end of 2019.