Ireland tipped to ban fur farming

Ireland's three fur farms reportedly see 150,000 mink farmed each year.
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Ireland looks poised to become the next country to turn its back on fur farming.

The Irish cabinet has approved a phased ban on fur farming nationally, bringing an end to its three remaining fur farms. According to the animal rights organization Humane Society International (HSI), the farms see 150,000 mink killed for their fur each year.

Announcing the news, Ireland's Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said: "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... Taking these considerations into account, it is considered timely to commence the phasing out of the industry in Ireland."

The news comes ahead of a ‘Prohibition of Fur Farming Bill' that was due to be debated on July 3, with a vote expected on July 4, but it was reported on Monday that Minister Creed was seeking approval for government legislation, with the Cabinet agreeing to bring forward its own bill to outlaw the practice.

"We urge politicians to introduce the ban swiftly and with as short a phase-out period as possible so that the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands more animals on Ireland's fur farms can be avoided," said Dr. Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs at Humane Society International/Europe, in a statement.

The ban would make Ireland the 15th European country to outlaw fur farming. In April, the Norwegian government detailed plans to phase out the practice by 2025, following an agreement reached in January 2018, while Luxembourg and Belgium also voted last year to ban fur farms. In September, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur within the city limits, six months after San Francisco passed a similar ban.

Fashion labels have also been abandoning the use of fur in droves over the past few years, with the Italian house of Prada announcing just last month that it would remove it from its collections as of Spring/Summer 2020. Jean-Paul Gaultier, Coach, Versace, Burberry and John Galliano have all made similar moves over the past year.