Import stipulations

No mercy for farm foxes & co.

The importing of fur and fur products of protected animals is subject to authorization by the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office. All fur and fur products, with the exception of sheep, lambs, goats, kids, calves, foals, rabbits, minks, raccoons, nutria, muskrats, red foxes, or farm foxes are subject to official inspections and controls. By making these exceptions, the Swiss government – despite its knowledge of the manner in which farm fur is produced – abets animal suffering.


Despite the protests of politicians, animal rights activists and the public, the government in Bern is not willing to ban the importing of the fur of farm or trapped wild animals. Art. 14, clause 1 of the Swiss Animal Protection Act would give the Federal Council the legal means to prevent the import, transit, and export of these products for animal protection and species conservation reasons. The government, however, refers to international treaties that apparently make such measures impossible. And this, although a legal expertise has demonstrated that and to which degree such an import ban would be compatible with the international obligations of Switzerland, in particular with WTO regulations.


Notwithstanding, thanks to public pressure, the Swiss Animal Protection Ordinance today comprises an import ban on dog and cat fur as well as products manufactured out of such fur. Apparently, the suffering of pets is weighted more strongly than the suffering of minks or foxes – although, objectively, there is no reason to differentiate.


Fair game for furriers

© Martina Berg -