CROATIA, 3 JANUARY 2017 – On January 1, the long-awaited Croatian fur farming ban, that was adopted in 2006, came into full force and was celebrated worldwide. After a phase-out period of 10 years the ban, that was supported by large majority of the Croatian citizens, finally came into effect signifying the end one of the cruelest and most critizised industries of today: the raising and killing of animals solely for the purpose of fur production.
The ban coming into force is the result of the long-lasting, dedicated, and persistent struggle of citizens, experts, institutions and animal protection organizations. On their behalf, Animal Friends Croatia will deliver a cake to the Ministry of Agriculture. This symbolic gesture is an act of gratitude to the competent ministry for heeding the public outcry and to celebrate the historic victory for animal rights in Croatia. A letter of appreciation will be sent to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.
Most farmers of chinchillas, which are the only animals farmed for fur in Croatia, have ceased production in the years since the fur farming ban made it into the Animal Protection Act in 2006. But a scheming minority of farmers has continued to produce, aiming to bring down the ban. This summer, a chinchilla farming lobby singlehandedly managed to force the adoption of a new Animal Protection Bill, which leans in their favor. However, citizens resolutely rose against abolishing the ban.
Citizens, veterinarians, politicians, MEPs, public figures, civil society organizations, and institutions are all in support of the ban on fur farming. However, a new public hearing on the proposal to extend the phase-out period for an additional year, under urgency, was opened last December. The indignant public again rejected the proposal, as it did 10 years ago. Ethical awareness of the Croatian citizens has overcome petty financial interests and placed Croatia on the map of civilized countries that respect public opinion and are adopting high, ethical and environmental standards for the treatment of animals.
In recent years an increasing number of European countries have, or are considering, legislation to prohibit fur farming. In the last two decades the UK, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia all voted to ban the fur farming industry. Currently similar legislation is considered in Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Norway and Germany.