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 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

In January 2018, Norway, once the world’s largest producer of fox pelts, decided to prohibit fur farming. One year earlier, in August 2017, the Czech Republic decided for a ban on fur farming that is to become effective in 2019. The most recent countries to adopt fur farming bans are Luxembourg, where a law was passed in June 2018 that outlaws fur farming entirely starting October 2018, and Belgium, where fur farming will end in 2023.

Other countries that have banned or are phasing out fur farming are the Republic of Macedonia (2014), Serbia (2019) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2029) Proposed legislation to prohibit fur farming is currently being considered in Poland, Ireland, Lithuania and Estonia.

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.

Stricter regulations

Fur farming will be phased out in Germany in 2022 due to stricter welfare requirements. 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 can continue operations unchanged until 2022 but after this transition period they are obliged to comply with the stricter requirements. This will lead to the closure of German mink farms in 2022, since fur production will not be profitable anymore.

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.


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.


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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