Day: September 23, 2022

Brilliant – Latvia Bans Fur Farming !

Photo – Act 4 Wildlife.

Latvia bans fur farming

23 September 2022

On 22 September, Latvia’s Saeima passed the final amendments to the country’s Animal Protection Law. Farming animals for the main or sole purpose of fur production will now be prohibited, with the ban is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2028.

Over the last 10 years, the animal rights association Dzīvnieku brīvība has campaigned for the ban on fur farming, backed by 42,000 citizens and 50 NGOs, who have all signed an open letter to the Saeima.

The amendments regarding farming of animals for their fur were submitted to the Saeima on September 9, 2021 by 11 MPs from different political parties. Now the Saeima has adopted the amendments to the Animal Protection Law with an overwhelming majority of votes (70 for, 3 against).

Over the course of the year, the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee evaluated various proposals and supported the wording of the law, which prohibits the breeding of fur animals and stipulates that fur farmers will not receive financial compensation, subject to a 5-year transition period. 

Taking into account previous international cases, the members of the commission recognised this transition period as sufficient and adequate compensation for entrepreneurs, and that, in accordance with the principles of the rule of law, it would give fur farmers sufficient time to gradually end their activities and recover their investments. Accordingly, the ban will enter into force on January 1, 2028.

This is a historic moment for animal rights in Latvia – a huge victory for both animals and the people. By prohibiting the imprisoning and killing of animals for their fur, we, the people of Latvia, affirm our values and respect for animals as living beings. We show that, in our country, compassion and reason are more important than greed and ostentation. After all, our attitude towards the vulnerable – animals – is a mirror of our own humanity.

Katrīna Krīgere, Head of Dzīvnieku brīvība

Currently, at least 300,000 mink, as well as several hundred foxes and chinchillas, are killed for fur in Latvia every year. The number of fur farms operating in Latvia and the number of animals bred in them has been decreasing in recent years. For example, the total number of animals in Latvian fur farms in 2017 was 617,000, in 2020 – 580,000, and in 2022 – 274,000 animals.

Latvia has now become the latest EU member state to ban fur farming, joining Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and most recently Malta and Ireland. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe is calling for a ban of fur farming across the European Union, as well as a ban on the sale of farmed fur products. Do you support this ban? 

Add your name now.

Regards Mark

Denmark: No Animal Welfare Supervision In Sight for Millions of Farmed Fish.

No animal welfare supervision in sight for millions of farmed fish in Denmark

22 September 2022

Dyrenes Beskyttelse

The Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn, has failed to include both supervision and clearly defined animal welfare standards in his proposal for a new aquaculture strategy.

When veterinarians from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration visit poultry farmers, cattle farmers, or pig farmers for inspections, they go to make sure that all animal welfare rules are being followed. No such supervisory measures currently exist for farmed fish in Danish aquaculture, and that is a major legal oversight according to Animal Protection Denmark. 

New research shows that fish are highly developed, sentient beings, capable of feeling pain and suffering. Therefore, it should be a matter of course to implement animal welfare supervision for fish. Furthermore, there should be species-specific rules in place for breeding to protect fish from suffering

Nicolaj Lindeborgh, Biologist, Fish and Fish Welfare Consultant at Animal Protection Denmark

In a response to the Danish Parliament’s Environment and Food Committee, Minister Rasmus Prehn has confirmed that fish are to be seen as sentient beings. Yet animal welfare supervision is reserved exclusively for organically farmed fish, accounting for just 2 percent of around 50 million farmed fish in Denmark.

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries has developed a proposal for a new Danish aquaculture strategy that has been distributed for public hearing. One of the central aims of the strategy is that “the Danish aquaculture sector continues sustainable growth in production.” But there is no mention as to how the authorities will ensure the welfare of many millions of animals involved. Animal Protection Denmark asserts that the strategy should include and highlight fish welfare.

Animal Protection Denmark does not accept a lack of knowledge as a legitimate excuse for a lack of action.

The Ministry excuses itself by saying that there is not enough research into which species-specific needs various fish species have. But you need only to look to our neighbouring countries, Norway for example, where relevant welfare parameters have already been developed

Nicolaj Lindeborgh

In its proposal, the Ministry writes that a much bigger part of the Danish production of fish is to take place in recirculating aquaculture facilities on land. Recirculating facilities typically have a much higher density of fish than both traditional pond farming and sea farming. According to Animal Protection Denmark, this would only increase the need for animal welfare supervision.

The aquaculture strategy points to production that is more intensive and further removed from natural conditions. This is a concerning development that we have seen cause problems for animal welfare in other species. And when this development is set to take place without any planned measures of supervision, the government is gambling with animal welfare

Nicolaj Lindeborgh

The Danish Government’s aquaculture strategy is scheduled to enter into force later this year and set to apply for the next five years.

Regards Mark

Italy: Milan Fashion Week – Demostrative Action Taken At National Chamber of Fashion.

Photo – LAV

Milan Fashion Week: demonstrative action at the headquarters of the Italian National Chamber of Fashion

21 September 2022


Yesterday evening, 20th September, the opening date of the Milan Fashion Week, the associations LAV, Humane Society International/Europe, ALI – Animal Law Italia and Essere Animali have projected on the building at number 31 in Piazza Duomo where it is based the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (organizer of the Fashion Weeks) an important and urgent message: “Act now for a Fur Free Europe”.

An explicit call for mobilisation addressed to all European citizens to induce the EU Commission to launch a legislative initiative aimed at extending the ban fur farming in all Member States and, also, introducing a ban on trade (and import) of fur products.

After the recent great success achieved with the European Citizens’ Initiatives “End the Cage Age” (for the stop to cages on farms, reaching 1.4 million validated signatures) and “Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics” (for the stop to experimentation animal, collecting 1.4 million signatures), animal rights associations from all over Europe, represented in Italy by Essere Animali, Humane Society International/Europe, ALI – Animal Law Italia and LAV, have already started the ECI “Fur Free Europe”, once again enjoying a wide consensus: in the first 4 months about 350,000 signatures have already been reached.

The goal is to exceed the quota of 1 million signatures required to commit the EU Commission to follow up on the European Citizens’ Initiative.

The European Citizens’ Initiative is the tool envisaged by EU law to generate a more democratic decision-making process, for this reason the requests that benefit from a broad consensus (the procedure foresees at least 1 million valid signatures collected in 12 months and in at least 7 States members) must be considered by the European Commission.

In Europe, 13 Member States have already formally banned the farming of animals for the purpose of obtaining fur (Austria, Belgium – from 2023, Croatia, Estonia – from 2026, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Holland , Czech Rep., Slovakia, Slovenia); among these also Italy with the ban in force from 1 January of this year and thanks to which no less than 60,000 mink will be saved every year (which, according to the last useful production cycle, every year were specially bred to then be killed). Other Member States have imposed restrictions: in Germany there are no longer farms; in Spain it is not possible to start new ones. In the European area, also the United Kingdom, Norway (from 2025) Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia (from 2028), and also in Switzerland have banned particularly restrictive local provisions, which in fact prevent the ‘opening of farms.

For consistency, Fur Free Europe also calls for a ban on the trade and import of fur products; a ban that, in compliance with the rules of international trade, is already in force in California (from 2019) and in Israel (from 2021).

The full text of the ECI “Fur Free Europe” is available on the institutional website of the EU Commission.

It is also possible to sign up from the websites of the individual associations, LAVEssere AnimaliAnimal Law Italy, and Humane Society International.

Although there are many national bans, in the European Union still 18 million animals (minks, foxes, raccoon dogs, chinchillas) are specially bred every year and then killed in order to obtain fur.

There are now many major global fashion brands that have made the fur-free choice an added value of their sustainability policies. Among the Italians: Elisabetta Franchi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Valentino, D&G, Zegna, and YNAP Group. A trend that is also reflected in the numbers: in Italy the turnover of the fur trade fell from 1.8 billion euros in 2006 to 814 million euros in 2018 (source: Italian Fur Association).

“Legislative action is needed at European level to harmonize fur farming bans in all Member States and to introduce a ban on the trade and import of fur products throughout the European Union” – conclude the associations promoting the ECI Fur Free Europe in Italy.

Regards Mark