IRELAND, 3 JULY 2019 – Ireland is set to become the 15th country in the European union to ban fur farming after the country’s cabinet approved to phase-out fur farming. The bill is expected to be introduced into the Dáil, the Irish parliament, in September. The Fur Free Alliance urges the Irish government to stay committed and join the majority of European countries in making an end to this barbaric industry.
Commenting on the Government decision, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. said:
“There has been considerable international and societal debate about fur farming. While the Department has strengthened its controls over the sector in recent years, it is clear that there has been a shift in societal expectations in relation to the sector and recent Veterinary evidence suggests that the farming of mink is counter to good animal welfare. Taking these considerations into account, it is considered timely to commence the phasing out of the industry in Ireland.”
Minister Creed went on to say:
“The Government Bill will make it illegal for any new fur farms to be established. Phase out arrangements will be put in place for the small number of current operators to allow for an orderly wind down of the sector and to allow time for employees to find alternative opportunities.”
The bill — called the Prohibition of Fur Farming Bill — was introduced by Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger. All political parties except for Fine Gael support the measure. In an interview with RTE Radio, Coppinger revealed that 80 percent of Irish people support the ban and adds:
“..it is impossible to regulate the fur trade and somehow make it kinder. The mink are gassed at six months and their skins are pulled off.”
The legislation will allow the nation’s existing fur operators to exit the industry on a phased basis. The country is currently home to three mink fur farms located in Donegal, Laois, and Kerry; collectively they produce around 110,000 pelts a year.
In November 2018, the Fur Free Alliance, in collaboration with Respect for Animals and ISPCA, organised a #FurFreeIreland campaign in Dublin, to highlight the necessity for a ban on fur farming in Ireland and to back the bill introduced by Coppinger. The event informed decision-makers on the negative impact of fur farming and called to support the bill to end fur production in Ireland.
Mink are solitary, wide-roaming predatory animals that spend up to 60 percent of their time in water in the wild. Keeping them confined in tiny battery cages on fur farms, leads to a variety of stress-related health issues, such as injuries from fights and cannibalism as well as stereotypic behavior — a mental condition common in captive or farmed animals characterized by repetitive behavior.