Ireland becomes 15th European country to ban fur farming

Animal rights campaigners have welcomed Ireland’s decision to ban fur farming in the country, saying it will end the suffering of 150,000 mink each year.



The practice is to be phased out in Ireland under a new bill that was approved by the Irish cabinet on Tuesday.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said: “While the Department has strengthened its controls over the sector in recent years, it is clear that there has been a shift in societal expectations in relation to the sector and recent veterinary evidence suggests that the farming of mink is counter to good animal welfare… Taking these considerations into account, it is considered timely to commence the phasing out of the industry in Ireland.”  

Whilst the Humane Society International applauded the decision, it urged the Irish government to avoid a lengthy phase-out period.

“We urge politicians to introduce the ban swiftly and with as short a  phase-out period as possible so that the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands more animals on Ireland's fur farms can be avoided. Life on a fur farm is one of misery and suffering - animals are confined to small barren cages before being gassed to death and skinned, all for the sake of a fluffy pom-pom or fur trim,” said Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs at Humane Society International/Europe.

Ireland’s new bill will put further pressure on the UK to ban the sale of animal fur. Although fur farming was outlawed in the UK on moral grounds in 2000, Britain still imports and sells fur from countries such as Finland, China,  Italy and North America from a range of species such as fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, racoon dog and chinchilla.

Ireland will become the 15th European nation to have banned fur farming, and several US cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have introduced fur sales bans.

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