Finally, Ireland’s government have approved a phased ban on fur farming
Agriculture minister, Michael Creed, has announced that they will bring an end to the farming of 150,000 mink, on Ireland’s three remaining fur farms.
The news has been welcomed by animal campaigners, who have long been calling for a ban.
In light of the ‘phased’ ban, Humane Society International (HIS) is urging the Irish government to avoid a lengthy phase-out period, so that the suffering of animals on fur farms can be brought to as quick an end as possible.
After the ban comes into place, Ireland will have become the 15th European nation to have banned fur farming. In 2018, Norway, Luxembourg and Belgium implemented their own bans on the cruel practice.
‘Shift in society’
When making the announcement, 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.”
“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.”
‘Urge for swift ban’
Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs at Humane Society International/Europe, said: “HSI is delighted that Ireland’s cabinet has committed to phasing out fur farming in Ireland, meaning that Ireland will join the fast-growing list of European nations that have already banned cruel fur farming.”
“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.”
“With so many countries banning fur production, the UK is under pressure to ban the sale of fur, and fashion designers increasingly dropping animal fur from their collections, we hope that the horrors of the fur trade will soon be relegated to the history books.”
With their #FurFreeBritain campaign, HSI is requesting that the government make the UK a completely ‘fur-free zone’ by extending existing cat, dog and seal fur sales bans to include all fur-bearing species.
In 2000, fur farming was outlawed in the UK on moral grounds, yet Britain still imports and sells fur from countries like Finland, China, Italy and North America from species such as mink, fox, rabbit, chinchilla, coyote and racoon dog.
Alarmingly, fur imports in the UK do not seem to be slowing – according to the most recent trade statistics from HMRC, in 2018 the UK imported over £70 million of animal fur.
In several US cities, fur sales bans have already been introduced, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, in addition to similar bans being under consideration in New York City, New York state and California. The UK need to step up, and follow the examples of these places.