13 JULY 2017, SARAJEVO – Yesterday, representatives of the Fur Free Alliance, PETA and the Aarhus Center spoke at a press conference in Sarajevo to call for the implementation of the Bosnian fur farming ban without any further delay.
In a highly uncommon procedure the Bosnian government recently voted for a last-minute postponement of the fur farming ban, that was suppose to prohibit fur farming in 2018. The controversial amendment would delay the ban for another ten years. The speakers urged the Bosnian government to stay committed to the 2009 Act and stressed that the recent amendment was in violation of the Aarhus Convention.
By neglecting the requirement for a public discussion, the urgent procedure to amend the ban violates the Aarhus Convention on citizen participation. Nina Kresevljakovic, representative of the Aarhus center in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said:
“There were no justifiable grounds to hold an urgent procedure and the public discussion, that is required in complex matters as these, was not held. For this reason Article 6 and Article 8 of the Aarhus convention were violated. If the proposed amendment of the Act will not comply to the Aarhus convention by adhering to the regular procedure and holding a public discussion, a formal legal complaint will be filed to demand compliance.”
All throughout Europe governments are making significant steps to end fur farming, with Germany and the Czech Republic being the most recent examples. Bosnia and Herzegovina was at the forefront of this development and would remain a positive example by banning the cruel practice for fur farming next year. “On top of that”, says Maida Sabeta, representative of the No Fur Coalition B&H “It is unfair to farms who did respect the 2009 Act and have transitioned to another industry.”
Worldwide organisations are urging Bosnia and Herzegovina to stay committed and make an end to the cruel practice of fur farming in 2018. Nicole van Gemert, director of the Dutch Fur Free Alliance member organisation Bont voor Dieren, spoke at the press conference and highlighted the recent verdict of the Dutch Supreme Court that justified the Dutch fur farming ban:
“The Netherlands have shown that it is indeed possible to ban a large sector for ethical and environmental reasons. The highest court decided that the ten year transition period is enough compensation and made the ban irrevocable. The suffering of 6 million mink in the Netherlands will be over in a few years, just like we ended the farming of chinchillas and foxes a few years ago. B&H was our example in this.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina holds about 80 fur farms, where chinchillas, mink and rabbits are kept. The Bosnian fur farming industry hardly creates employment opportunities: on average a fur farm in Bosnia and Herzegovina employs only two workers. It would be wise for the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to not further invest in such an unstable industry as fur farming, but better yet explore more sustainable types of industries that are profitable on the long-term.