Fur bans

Over the past two decades, twenty countries have either voted to ban the practice, have prohibited the farming of particular species, or have introduced stricter regulations that have effectively curtailed the practice. As concerns about animal welfare and the ethics of fur continue to grow, proposals to prohibit fur production are presently being considered in many other countries.


The first countries to ban fur farming were the United Kingdom (2000) and Austria (2005). In December 2012, the Netherlands, once the EU’s second largest mink producer, passed a ban on fur farming that would phase-out mink fur production entirely by 2024. Following coronavirus outbreaks on Dutch mink fur farms, the government declared an early shutdown of the industry in 2020.

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). Due to the economic decline of the fur industry, the last Bosnian fur farm shut down in 2020.


In June 2021, Estonia introduced a ban on fur farming, with a phase-out period until 2026.

In September 2020, France announced a ban on mink fur farming with a 5-year phase-out period. Earlier that year, the new government in Ireland committed to a ban and legislation to prohibit fur farming is being prepared.

In October 2019, Slovakia introduced a law to prohibit fur farming after a transitional period for existing farms until 2025.

In January 2018, Norway, once the world’s largest producer of fox pelts, decided to prohibit fur farming, with a phase-out period until 2025. 2018 also saw two other countries take action: In Belgium, a fur farming ban was introduced which will end the practice in 2023, and in Luxembourg, a ban on fur farming came into effect in October of the same year.

In August 2017, the Czech Republic agreed a ban on fur farming, effective from 2019.

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

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

Fur farming legislation in Europe


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 increased cages sizes and additional swimming basins for mink). The 1-2 remaining farms were permitted to continue operations unchanged until 2022, after which they would be obliged to comply with the stricter requirements. However, since fur production was not profitable anymore, this has led to the closure of German mink farms in 2019.

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 2016 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.

Partial bans

*Hungary introduced an immediate ban on the breeding of mink, foxes, polecats and coypu for fur, in November 2020, following concerns on animal welfare and coronavirus outbreaks on mink fur farms across Europe. The ban was introduced as a precautionary measure to prevent fur farmers from moving their operations there.

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.


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.


In June 2021, Israel became the world’s first country to prohibit the sales of fur. Israel’s ban allows exemptions for the use of fur in ‘scientific research, education or instruction, and for religious purposes or tradition.’

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.

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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