SPAIN, 20 AUGUST 2020 – Last Saturday, Spanish citizens took the streets in Santa Maria de Alameda to protest against a nearby mink fur farm. Following years of protests triggered by complaints over smells, flies, noise and waste pollution, local residents urge their government to protect rural life and close mink fur farms.
Residents have been writing to local administrations since 2013, to address the “systematic breach” of environmental regulations by the mink fur farm, which led to the farm being sanctioned by the Junta de Castilla y León.
On top of the extreme animal suffering, intensive fur farms cause severe damage to local ecosystems. Waste farm runoff is a major pollution problem, contaminating soil and waterways and, as a result, damaging local economies. Also, escaped predatory animals from fur farms cause a decrease of local biodiversity. Through competition, the American mink is a direct cause of the extinction of the last few remaining populations of the European mink, a species native to Spain.
Since a coronavirus outbreak was confirmed on a Spanish mink farm last month, voices are rising to prohibit the industry. Almost 100,000 mink on the infected farm in Aragon have been gassed to death after the virus was eventually confirmed in mid-July, eight weeks after seven of the farm workers tested positive for Covid-19.
Next to Spain, coronavirus infections are now reported to have spread to 36 Dutch mink fur farms, 4 Danish mink fur farms, and two mink fur farms in the US state Utah. As a result, more than 1.8 million mink have already been culled worldwide following coronavirus outbreaks in recent months.
Spain now has only 38 fur farms in the country, mostly in the northern region of Galicia, down from more than 300 in the 1980s. To prevent more animal suffering and environmental damage, the Fur Free Alliance urges the Spanish government to end this declining industry at the earliest opportunity.
Photo source: Tu Abrigo Su Vida