THE HAGUE, 24 JUNE 2020 – Yesterday, politicians voted in favour of the early closure of farms with compensation to be paid to fur farmers to end the practice earlier than the phase out due date of 31st December 2023. Following outbreaks of COVID-19 on 17 fur farms in The Netherlands since 26 April, there has been growing support to shut down the 128 remaining mink fur farms in the Netherlands.
With clear parliamentary support for swift action, the Dutch Government will now be under pressure to ensure a ban on mink production given that this species is known to be susceptible to the coronavirus and could act as a reservoir for the disease. The Parliament also voted to maintain the ban on transporting mink and to prevent fur farms where the mink have already been culled from restocking with mink. We urge the Dutch government to act as soon as possible.
Sandra Schoenmaker, director of Dutch animal protection organisation Bont voor Dieren, says:
“We are very glad and proud. Our years of campaigning for a ban on fur farming have not been for nothing. Finally the majority of our representatives recognises that the intensive breeding of animals leads to animal and human suffering. Fortunately this industry now needs to shut down as soon as possible, for the sake of animals and human health. Waiting until 2024 for the mink ban to take effect would have been unjustifiable and irresponsible.”
Keeping thousands of mink in crowded, filthy and stressful conditions is a recipe for extreme animal suffering and biological disasters. We welcome today’s vote by Dutch MPs to shut down mink fur farms in The Netherlands and prioritise welfare concerns over the industry’s interests. In light of the Covid-19 risk, we call on all fur-producing countries to follow suit and end this barbaric practice for the sake of animal and public health.