Fur bans

Due to concerns on animal welfare and ethics, countries are distancing themselves from animal cruelty by banning fur farming. Other countries are adopting stricter welfare regulations that effectively make fur farming economically unviable.


The first countries to ban fur farming were the United Kingdom (2000) and Austria (2005). In December 2012, the Netherlands, which is the EU’s second largest mink producer, passed a ban on fur farming and will phase-out mink fur production entirely by 2024.

In Croatia fur farming is banned since 2018 after a 10-year phase-out period for farms to transition to a more sustainable industry. Slovenia banned fur farming in March 2013 with a three year phase-out for existing farms.

Other countries that introduced laws to prohibit or phase out fur farming are the Republic of Macedonia (2014), Serbia (2019) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2028)


For the full overview of national fur farming legislation in Europe click here.


In October 2019, Slovakia joined the list of countries that are no longer permitting extreme animal cruelty, by introducing legislation that will end fur production by 2025.

Norway, once the world’s largest producer of fox pelts, decided to prohibit fur farming in January 2018, with a phase-out period until 2025. That same year, two other bans were introduced in both Belgium, where fur farming will end in 2023, and Luxembourg, where a law was passed in June that year that outlawed fur farming entirely starting October 2018. One year earlier, in August 2017, the Czech Republic decided on a ban on fur farming that became effective in 2019.

Proposed legislation to prohibit fur farming is currently being considered in Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine.

Partial bans

Before The Netherlands adopted a mink ban in 2012, fox and chinchilla fur production was already out-phased in the mid-1990s. In 2009 Denmark introduced a similar ban including a phase-out period on fox farming.


Fur farming has been phased out in Germany in 2019 due to stricter welfare regulations Due to a law adopted in 2017, fur farming is only allowed in compliance with stricter keeping standards (such as significantly increased cages sizes and additional swimming basins for Mink). The 1-2 remaining farms were permitted to continue operations unchanged until 2022, but after this transition period they were obliged to comply with the stricter requirements. This has led to the closure of German mink farms in 2019, since fur production was not profitable anymore.

Fox farming was phased-out in Sweden following the introduction of animal welfare requirements that required foxes could only be kept in such a way that they can be active, dig and socialise with other foxes. This effectively rendered fox farming economically unviable in Sweden.

In 2007 Spain adopted stricter regulations to prevent ecological damage caused by escaped mink from fur farms. Since then, it is no longer allowed to build new mink fur farms in Spain, as the American Mink is a serious threat to biodiversity as an invasive alien species.


In 2016 fur farming in Japan was phased-out after the last fur farm was closed down due to non-compliance. Since the Invasive Alien Species Act in 2006 it became illegal to build new mink fur farms in Japan.

New Zealand
Prohibition on the import of mink. This effectively bans mink farming in New Zealand.

Some states prohibit keeping foxes in captivity. California has housing requirements for mink and foxes that make the costs of fur farming prohibitive. The state of New York passed a law against the electrocution of fur animals.


California State
In October 2019, California became the first state in the US to ban fur sales. The statewide legislation prohibits the sales and production of new fur items starting 2023.

Los Angeles
In September 2018 the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban fur sales. The fur trade ban will go into effect in 2021.

San Francisco
In March 2018 San Francisco became the second major US city to ban fur sales.

In January 2017 India adopted an import ban on mink, fox and chinchilla fur skins.

Sao Paolo
In 2015 Sao Paolo adopted an import and sales ban on fur products. In 2014 the State of Sao Paolo already decided for a fur farming ban, in spite of Brazil being one of the biggest producers of chinchilla fur in the world.

West Hollywood
West Hollywood is the first city in the world that decided to ban the sales of fur in 2011. The ban came into force in 2013, when the value of fur sales in West-Hollywood was estimated at two million dollars annually.


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