SARAJEVO, 19 JUNE 2016 – Worldwide citizens are expressing their support for the fur farming ban in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Similar to several other EU members states, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to ban fur farming on ethical grounds in 2009. The fur farming ban includes a phase-out period of 10 years providing fur farmers with a transitional period to develop a more ethical and sustainable type of business. Currently, however, the law is put at risk due to a proposed amendment that would put the ban completely off the table.
Citizens, nationally and internationally, are organising protests and a petition to urge the government to take a strong stance and keep the widely supported fur farming ban in place. This week the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejected the change of the Act in the second vote on the proposed law amendment. A third voting is yet to take place.
Currently Bosnia and Herzegovina holds about 80 fur farms, on which chinchillas, mink and rabbits are farmed solely for their fur. Animals kept on fur farms are essentially wild animals. Keeping them in small, wire mesh cages causes numerous serious welfare problems which have been extensively documented by scientific research studies. Fur farmers use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution and gassing. More concerning is that the conditions on fur farms in Bosnia and Herzegovina are hardly monitored since there is no policy regarding official inspections.
Even though fur farming is profitable, mainly due to the low animal welfare standards, the industry hardly creates employment opportunities. On an average a fur farm in Bosnia and Herzegovina employs two workers, making the number of jobs a highly insignificant argument to drop the ban. Besides that the use of hazardous chemicals in the fur production process are causing serious health risks for both employees as consumers, as various recent studies have pointed out.
Due to ethical, animal welfare and environmental reasons fur bans are currently debated upon worldwide. 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.