The Cabinet agreed to the phased dis-establishment of fur farming in Ireland last Tuesday (June 25th).Commenting on the decision, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. said that “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”. There are currently, three mink fur farms operating in counties Donegal, Laois and Kerry. These are seen as large farms producing approximately 110,000 pelts per year. The Government will now proceed to bring forward a Bill which will be drafted in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office. The Government Bill will provide for a phased basis for the ban for existing farms. Minister Creed continued “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.”
While a number of European countries have banned fur farming, the approach has generally been to allow a phase-out period over a number of years.