Welfur assessment inside the Saga Certification
The Saga Certification includes the WelFur protocol, which is an additional science-based animal welfare assessment. This is a welcomed addition to the Saga Certification programme that’s been running since 2005.
At industry level, in addition to Saga Furs’ existing animal health and welfare programme, Saga Furs is cofounding the European Welfur initiative, which was launched from the beginning of year 2017. Under the new Welfur guidelines, based on scientific animal research, an annual audit process for all our supplier farms must occur at different times of the year to reflect each of the three different farm working seasons. Starting from 2021, WelFur is part of Furmark, the comprehensive global certification system for natural fur that guarantees animal welfare. Furmark responds to consumer demands for simple, recognisable, and global certification, indicated by a clear mark.
When developing WelFur, representing a consortium of 7 European universities and institutions, the scientists did an in-depth review of all existing animal welfare research on fur animals before they identified the welfare indicators and measurements that eventually became the WelFur protocols. During the development, several hundred measures were considered, and the specific welfare measurements for mink and fox were chosen by the scientists behind their project for their scientific validity, reliability and feasibility. The measurements include nutritional feeding, good conditions for rearing, behaviour of the animals, and good health.
WelFur is science-based and transparent in measurements
Throughout the development of WelFur, external scientific reviewers have conserved the quality of the scientific work and the alignment with the original. The scientists are producing a transparency paper explaining in details the reason for the final choices of measurements.
The following universities and institutions have been developing the WelFur protocols:
- University of Eastern Finland (Department of Biosciences)
- MTT Agrifood Research Finland (Animal Production Research)
- Aarhus University (Department of Animal Health and Bioscience)
- Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences)
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Department of Animal Environment and Health)
- University of Utrecht (Department of Animals in Science & Society)
- French National Institute of Agronomic Research