BRATISLAVA, 17 OCTOBER 2019 – Today the Slovak National Council approved a ban on fur production that makes Slovakia the 15th European country to end fur farming. The legislation, that will go into effect in 2021, passed with an overwhelming majority vote of 107 out of 150 from across the political spectrum and includes a phase-out period for existing farms until 2025.
The Slovak National Council has approved the fur farming ban after only 7 months of campaigning led by Slovakian Fur Free Alliance member organisation Humánny Pokrok. The non-profit published investigation footage showing the appalling conditions on a mink farm in northern Slovakia that triggered public outrage. As a result, more than 76,000 people signed a petition calling for a fur farming ban in Slovakia. As a response, MP Eva Antošová (Slovak National Party) initiated a bill to ban fur farming in September.
There is currently one mink fur farm in Slovakia, with the capacity to keep 5000 minks, and there are eight rabbit fur farms operating in the country. The new law does not permit the establishment of new fur farms after 2021.
Martin Smrek, president of Humánny Pokrok, says:
“It is a big victory for animals and a sign, that Slovak society is progressing and tens of thousands of people are ready to stand up for the animals and their protection. Slovakia has made a big step forward today and we hope that this is the beginning of a new brighter future for animals in our country.”
The fur farming ban campaign was launched in March with the publication of investigation footage revealing horrible conditions of minks at a fur farm in northern Slovakia. The footage shows animals cramped into small filthy cages, with open untended wounds and showing signs of cannibalism and stereotypic behaviour. The public responded with outrage generating more than 76,000 petition signatures and the campaign became the second-largest online petition in the history of Slovakia, with more than 1.4% of the population supporting it. It also brought responses from both presidential candidates in the last week before elections during the spring presidential elections campaign, including the support from the current president of Slovakia – Zuzana Čaputová – who will now proceed to sign the ban in order to complete the legislation process.
Polls showed that 68% of the Slovak population considers fur farming unacceptable. Frederika Fratričová, campaigner at Humánny Pokrok, adds:
“Making the protection of animals into a political issue in Slovakia is a good sign and gives us hope that we will be able to deal with other animal cruelty issues as well.”
Other countries that are currently considering legislation to end fur farming are Ireland and Bulgaria.