Another breakthrough in on-farm animal welfare certification as the new WelFur protocol for Finnraccoon is rolling out.
The development of a fully functional on-farm assessment means that Finnraccoon farms are certified the same way as mink and fox farms.
”Finnraccoon farmers now have the same system as mink and fox farmers already have. A lot of species-specific practices for animal welfare has been developed. Finnraccoons are extremely well domesticated and feel well in a farming environment. Now we can measure the animal welfare on my farm, and follow if we can improve it every year,” said farmer Esa Rantakangas from Lappajärvi.
Scientists behind the protocol spent several years to go through all existing research before they were able to develop species-specific animal welfare assessment. In 2019, the pilot phase started bringing the theoretical knowledge on the field to refine the calculations and the scoring system.
The scientific validity of the protocols and the compliance with the methodology and principles of the European Commission’s Welfare Quality protocols were confirmed by the review committee, which was the final step in the development.
The protocol works as a manual for the independent third-party assessors who assess fur farms. Built to evaluate and qualify animal welfare, the protocols take into an account complex calculation predominately based animal-based indicators which scientists consider as the most reliable way to measure animal welfare.
Finnraccoon, also known as a raccoon dog, is farmed in Finland, and the production counted for 160.000 pelts in 2019.