13 MAY 2017, PRAGUE – In its second reading the Czech Chamber of Deputies voted in favor of the amendment of the bill that bans the breeding and killing of animals for fur. The amendment was proposed by a number of Deputies led by chairman of the Czech Committee on the Environment, Mr.Robin Böhnisch. The ban on fur farming in the Czech Republic is widely supported by the Czech population.
A recent opinion poll showed that 83% of the Czech population is in favor of the ban. Early this month 46.000 signatures of Czech citizens supporting the ban were presented to the Chair of the Committee on Petitions of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Ms. Zuzka Bebarová Rujbrová.
During the second reading of the bill , opinions with drafting proposals were presented by committees which had passed the amendment at the end of March. The drafting proposals of the Environmental Committee aim to include a one-off compensation which would mitigate the financial impact on the farmers.
The drafting proposals presented by the Agricultural Committee would make fur farming possible for farmers holding the WelFur program certificate. Lucie Moravcová of Svoboda zvířat (Freedom for Animals):
“Welfur is a very questionable tool for evaluating welfare of animals in fur farms. It was developed by the farmers themselves, and in our opinion (as well as in the opinion of many experts) it does not consider all the needs of animals in farms. Adopting this proposal would not bring about any positive change in fur farms in the Czech Republic – in fact it might result in the very opposite. Moreover, Welfur doesn’t at all address the extremely „inhumane“ ways of killing minks and foxes.“
Mr. Böhnisch adds that:
“The drafting proposals adopted at the meeting of the Agricultural Committee, including the one promoting the WelFur program, were invalidated by the Parliamentary Institute, and were also criticised by the section of the Government Legislative Council of Jan Chvojka, Minister for Human Rights, as well as by the Pelikán Krofta Kohoutek law firm which I myself addressed. I hope therefore that in the third reading, the Deputies will no longer support them. During the second reading, I presented a drafting proposal, which reacts in particular to the legislative and technical criticisms of the government and proposes a new scheme of potential compensation to farmers. In order to make the law passable for the Group of the ANO party, the farms are expected to terminate their activities in January 2021.”
The Deputies will vote on the amendment and all drafting proposals in a third reading, which might take place as early as in mid-May this year.
Fur farming has already been banned in 8 European countries such as Great Britain, Austria or Croatia. Lucie Moravcová of Svoboda zvířat says:
„Every year, 20.000 minks and foxes suffer and die in Czech fur farms. Just like the opinion polls carried out in the past years, the most recent one showed that the majority of Czechs is against fur farming. We are convinced that the Deputies will finally hear the opinion of the public and will support the prohibition of fur farming.“
The opinion poll conducted by Focus also revealed that 82 % of adult Czech population do not agree with killing of animals for fur, and 81 % of Czechs believe that present society doesn’t need fur in fashion. Other questions of the poll focused on fur-related consumer behaviour. As the final report „Fur farming in the eyes od the Czech population“ of the agency Focus Marketing&Social Research shows, „only 6 % of the respondents stated they buy products containing genuine fur. 85 % of the respondents do not buy this type of products and 7 % are not able to distinguish between genuine and artificial fur.“ According to the poll, 77 % respondents expects products containing genuine fur to bear a clear marking on the label.