Fur bans

Due to concerns on animal welfare and ethics, fur farming bans are increasingly widespread. Next to that, more and more countries are phasing out fur farming or are adopting stricter regulations that cause fur farms to close down.

The first countries to ban fur farming were the United Kingdom (2000) and Austria (2004). 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 production entirely by 2024.

In Croatia a fur farming ban is adopted in 2007 with a 10 year phase-out period for existing farms. Slovenia banned fur farming in March 2013 with a three year phase-out for existing farms.

 

Other countries that banned fur farming are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia. The most recent country to adopt a fur farming ban is Czech Republic (August, 2017). Proposed legislation to prohibit fur farming is currently being considered in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.

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. Hungary adopted a ban on mink, fox and raccoon dog farming in 2011 and only allows rabbit and angora farming.

Fur farming bans in Europe

Stricter regulations

In 2017 German leaders voted for stricter regulations that will make an end to fur farming. Germany had adopted new regulations for fur farming in 2009, which require increased cage space for animals. The regulations also require the provision of swimming water for mink and an area for foxes and raccoon dogs to be able to dig, and therefore cause fur farming to no longer be economically viable. Existing fur farms are given a 5-year transition period in 2017.

Fox farming has also been 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 2015 Spain adopted stricter regulations to prevent ecological damage of escaping mink from fur farms. Since the American Mink is a serious threat to the Spanish biodiversity as an invasive alien species it is no longer allowed to build new fur farms in Spain to breed American mink. Similar legislation has led Japan to close down its last fur farm in 2016.

OUTSIDE OF EUROPE

Japan
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.

U.S.A.
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.

TRADE BANS

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

Israel
The Israeli government is currently discussing a bill to adopt a sales ban on fur. The bill will be voted on in July 2017. If the bill were to pass Israel would be the first country in the world to ban the sales of fur.

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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