On December 18, the Dutch senate passed a historic ban on mink farming in the Netherlands, which is currently the third-largest producer of fur in the world after Denmark and China.
“This significant decision will prevent the suffering of millions of fur-bearing animals in the future,” said Joanna Swabe, Humane Society International’s (HSI) EU director in a statement. “It is truly inspiring that the majority of the Dutch Senate has not allowed economics to prevail over ethics, recognising that it is unacceptable and cruel to keep animals in small, wire cages to be killed for their fur. On behalf of Humane Society International, I sincerely thank the Socialist Party (SP) and Labour Party (PvdA) MPs who initiated this legislation and warmly congratulate our Fur Free Alliance colleagues, Bont voor Dieren, for their long and hard-fought campaign to eliminate fur farming in the Netherlands.”
The ban will go into effect January 1, 2024, following a 2008 ban that outlawed breeding foxes and chinchillas for their fur, ending fur farming entirely. A previous bill to ban mink farming was introduced in 2009, which would have banned it by 2018, but opponents raised concerns over the financial problems ending the industry could cause and it didn’t get a majority vote. The new legislation changed the ban date and will provide farmers with compensation.
“An inquiry by the Ministry of Agriculture showed earlier this year that only 7% of the Dutch approved of killing animals only for their fur. It’s a logical step to ban mink farming after the ban on dog, cat and seal fur,” said Nicole van Gemert, director of Fur For Animals.
Dutch mink farming has grown exponentially in the past decade, causing millions of mink to spend their short, stressful lives suffering in small cages for nothing more than human vanity. Fortunately, the Netherlands is sending the message to the industry and to the public that fur isn’t fashionable and that causing animals to suffer for a non-essential product isn’t justifiable.
The Netherlands will now be joining other progressive countries that have banned fur farming on ethical grounds, including Austria, the United Kingdom and Croatia.
“If the Netherlands can ban a mink fur farming industry of 6 million mink per year and 159 mink fur farmers, for ethical reasons, there is no reason for other countries to continue with this form of animal cruelty,” said Thomas Pietsch, expert on wild animals for Four Paws.
Photo credit: Network for Animal Freedom