NORWAY, 23 January 2023 - Last week it was made public that the last mink had left Norwegian fur farms, and the Norwegian fur industry is now closed down. Norwegian animal protection organisation NOAH has worked to end fur farming in Norway since 1989. Its next goal is for Norway to implement a ban on the import of fur products.
In 2018, the Norwegian government decided to ban fur farming due to animal welfare concerns. The industry was given 7 years to close all fur farms. Siri Martinsen, veterinarian and director of NOAH says:
"The fact that the cages now are empty two years before the deadline has saved thousands of animals from suffering. Finally a 30 year old battle is over, and Norway is free of fur farms. Now it’s important for us to continue the work for an import ban on fur products, and to contribute to the work on getting more countries to ban fur farming in the future".
NOAH’s work for fur animals began in 1989. In 2010, Oslo Fashion Week became the first fur-free fashion week in the world in collaboration with NOAH. From 2003 until the fur ban in 2018 NOAH held a yearly torchlight march against fur farming where thousands of people attended. The march became Europe's largest rally against fur farming. Martinsen says:
"NOAH was established in 1989 as an anti-fur-organisation. Our work began in a time where fur farming was at its peak and the majority of Norway's population were oblivious to the sufferings these animals endured. In the last 30 years NOAH´s effort has taken resistance against fur farming from radical to mainstream opinion. The campaign to end Norwegian fur farming is one of NOAH’s greatest achievements."
The Norwegian government is currently considering a proposal on a ban on importing fur. At the same time gruesome footage from Finnish fur farms have been released by members of the Fur Free Alliance, where NOAH is a partner. Martinsen says:
"NOAH is now working to get the majority of Stortinget to vote for an import ban on fur. Norway has nothing to gain from supporting the cruel practice of fur farming abroad. The recent footage from Finland shows that fur farming is still animal abuse, wherever the farms may be. It is time for us to implement an import ban, and NOAH hopes Norway can be at the forefront with such a ban."
While the last fur farm cage is emptied in Norway, over a million EU citizens are signing a European Citizens’ Initiative calling for an EU-wide ban on fur farming. The ECI must achieve one million verified signatures to trigger a response from the European Commission.