State, Federal and Industry Guidelines Help Ensure High Quality Animal Care
North America produces some of the finest quality farmed furs in the world. To do this, farmers must provide excellent nutrition and care for their animals.
In common with all livestock, domesticated furbearers such as mink and fox come under the jurisdiction of state departments of agriculture, not the federal government. Since there are human health concerns, the federal government does oversee in the regulation of the slaughter of food animals, e.g. the Animal Welfare Act.
Statutes and codes are developed by legislators, veterinarians, farmers and concerned citizen groups, based on research and recommendations published by recognized scientific and veterinary bodies. While much of this work, particularly in the areas of disease control and nutrition, is carried out with industry funding, the fur industry also interprets and incorporates into its practices information from reports of independent experts in disease control, animal welfare and euthanasia, notably the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
FCUSA Standard Guidelines for the Operation of Mink Farms
The overwhelming majority of mink pelts produced in the US come from farms that are FCUSA members and participate in our Merit Award program. This is a third-party certification program involving independent veterinarians. This seal of excellence is awarded to members who meet the strict criteria set forth by the FCUSA Animal Welfare Committee in its Standard Guidelines for the Operation of Mink Farms in the United States. These guidelines were first drawn up in 1985 and is revised as superior methods of husbandry and management emerged. The Merit Award seal recognizes commitment to humane treatment in all aspects of fur farming, including:
- Vigilant attention to nutritional needs
- Clean, safe and appropriate housing
- Prompt veterinary care
- Consideration for the animal’s disposition and reproductive needs
- Elimination of outside stress