Legislation: Fur Farming
Fur Farming Legislation Around The World
Many European countries, recognizing the inherent cruelty of raising wild animals in captivity for their fur, have taken steps to restrict or ban out-right the inhumane practice of fur farming.
Keeping genetically wild animals in intensive confinement causes severe welfare problems, including self mutilation, cannibalism, and stereotypic behaviors.
AustriaPassed an outright ban on fur farming throughout the entire nation in 2004.
CroatiaIn December 2006, the Croatian government introduced a new Animal Protection Act that will ban fur farming. The legislation came into force on January 1, 2007 and the ban will be subject to a 10 year phase out period.
DenmarkLegislation to improve the welfare of fur bearing animals was adopted on January 15, 2007. The legislation included a number of welfare improvements for foxes on fur farms, such as requiring larger cages, nesting boxes, and the ability for the foxes to dig. These improvements will be fully implemented as of January 2008 and are predicted to cause the practice of fox farming to become economically unviable. Welfare regulations for mink farms remain week.
IrelandThe Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill, put forward by the Green Party in the Republic of Ireland, was debated in the Dail (Parliament) in 2005. The Bill was supported by all opposition parties and most Independent TDs (members of Parliament), but voted down by the Government parties. Currently, mink farms require a license to operate, while fox farms do not. There are 6 mink farms and 1 fox farm in the Republic of Ireland at present. Fur farming became illegal in Northern Ireland in 2003.
ItalyAs of 2008, all mink farms in Italy must allow swimming water, more space, and pens on the ground. This will likely lead to the closure of all Italian mink farms.
The NetherlandsBecame the first country in the world to ban fox farming in 1995, with a phase out period of 10 years. Chinchilla farming was prohibited in 1997. On October 11, 2006, an MP with the Socialist Party submitted a private members bill for a complete ban on fur farming to the Dutch Council of State.
New ZealandAllows fur farming of ferrets (between 2 and 5 farms exist in the entire country), but prohibits the import of mink. This effectively bans mink farming in New Zealand.
SwedenIn 1995, Sweden passed an amendment to the Animal Protection Ordinance that banned the keeping of foxes in cages and required that foxes be kept in such a way that they can be active, dig, and socialize with other foxes. Fox farming is no longer economically viable in Sweden and since 2000, all fox farms in the country have been shut down. The Social Democratic Party and the Green Party are currently supporting legislation to ban all fur farming.
SwitzerlandThe farming of fur animals is prevented by legislation which only allows their keeping under what are effectively zoo conditions. Thus, there are no fur farms in Switzerland.
United KingdomUnder the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act of 2000, England and Wales banned fur farming completely. All fur farms in England and Wales had to be shut down by January 1, 2003. Northern Ireland and Scotland both banned fur farming shortly afterwards. There are now no fur farms anywhere in the U.K.
U.S.A.There is no federal law regulating the keeping or killing of cage-raised fur-bearing animals. No states have banned fur farming, but some states prohibit keeping foxes in captivity because of concerns about disease transmission to native wildlife. California has housing requirements for mink and fox that make fur farming of these species cost prohibitive. Wisconsin and Utah are currently the two top fur farming states.
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