Italy to ban fur farming, fur breeders to be compensated

ROME, Italy, December 21, 2021 (ENS) – The Italian Senate Budget Committee voted today to approve an amendment to the budget law that will see the closure of the country’s 10 remaining mink farms within six months and a permanent ban on animal husbandry fur coat throughout Italy.

The approved measure includes:

• An immediate ban on the breeding of fur animals, including mink, foxes, raccoon dogs and chinchillas, and the closure of all active fur farms in Italy by June 30, 2022.

• Compensation for farmers, covered by a fund from the Ministry of Agriculture for a total of 3 million euros (3.4 million US dollars) in 2022.

Although the decision requires the final approval of the whole of Parliament, it is expected to pass. When it does, Italy will become the 16th country in Europe to ban fur farming. Many Italian designers have gone without fur before, including Armani, GUCCI, Prada, Valentino and Versace.

The committee’s vote follows discussions with the animal welfare organization Humane Society International / Europe, which presented practical and strategic solutions to close and convert fur farms into alternative, humane and sustainable businesses in its recent report. , “Mink farming in Italy: mapping and future perspectives”. (In Italian)

Italian politician and businesswoman Michela Vittoria Brambilla (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Humane Society International / Europe’s fur farm conversion proposal, which aimed to end fur farming due to cruelty to animals and public health risks from zoonotic diseases, has been approved by Italian MP Michela Vittoria Brambilla, who launched the political action to implement the conversion strategy with existing public funds, and Senator Loredana De Petris who officially submitted the amendment.

Martina Pluda, Director of Humane Society International in Italy, said: “This is a historic victory for animal welfare in Italy, and HSI / Europe is extremely proud that our fur farm conversion strategy has played a part. a central role in the dismantling of this cruel and dangerous industry. in our country. There are very clear economic, environmental, public health and of course animal welfare reasons for shutting down and banning fur farms. “

“Today’s vote recognizes that allowing the mass rearing of wild animals for frivolous fur poses a risk to animals and people that cannot be justified by the limited economic benefits it offers to an individual. small minority of people involved in this cruel industry. Pluda said. “With so many designers, retailers and consumers switching to furless, converting fur farms is offering people a sustainable future that the fur trade simply cannot provide. “

Michela Vittoria Brambilla, President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights and of the Italian League for the Defense of Animals and the Environment, commented on the vote: “In 30 years of fighting for animal rights, it is is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of the untold suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity. Italy is the 20th European country to introduce a severe ban or restriction on fur farming: better late than never.

“A dream come true that animal welfare associations have been cultivating for decades in our country,” said Brambilla. “It’s a great success, which finally rejoices all those who love and respect animals!

Italian fashion house Prada has stopped using fur from its Spring / Summer 2020 womenswear collections. Artistic Director Miuccia Prada said: “The Prada Group is committed to innovation and responsibility social policy, and our fur-free policy is an extension of that commitment. Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new frontiers of creative design, while meeting the demand for ethical products.

The move was made in conjunction with the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of more than 40 animal welfare organizations working together to end cruelty to animals. Humane Society International is a member of the coalition.

France abandons fur farming

The breeding of fur animals is now a thing of the past in France. In November, the French Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of a law ending the breeding of wild animals for their fur. The ban took effect immediately and will result in the closure of the two remaining French mink fur farms.

Mink coats can lose their value over time. New mink may sell for several thousand, but this used black mink coat sells for just $ 595 USD. (Photo courtesy of American Fur Mart)

Muriel Arnal of the militant association One Voice declares: “There are only two mink farms left in France. But, as we requested, this ban has been extended to all wild animals raised for their fur. We welcome this important step forward and hope that it will inspire those countries that have not yet taken the decision to ban the exploitation of foxes, minks, chinchillas.

“Global society is calling for this progress,” said Arnal. “It’s time.”

A number of recent One Voice investigations have exposed the cruel conditions in which animals were kept on French fur farms. Undercover footage, recorded in 2017, 2019 and 2020, revealed animal suffering: minks with physical injuries kept in appalling conditions.

Public opposition prompted the French government last year to propose a ban on mink fur production with a five-year phase-out period.

Working with One Voice, the Fur Free Alliance urged the French government to take immediate action and shut down France’s last fur farms, and it’s now law. One Voice marks the celebration of this initiative of NGOs around the world and wants other countries to follow suit.

Joh Vinding, President of the Fur Free Alliance, said: “There has never been a more urgent need to end the practice of fur farming around the world, an industry that not only treats animals as well. inhuman manner for a product no one needs, but which has also been shown to be fertile ground for outbreaks of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. “

In the past five years alone, animal welfare concerns have led eight countries to pass legislation to end cruelty to animals on fur farms. Discussions on banning fur farming are currently being considered in Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Ukraine and Bulgaria.

In 2021, Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of real fur. In the United States, California became the first state to ban the sale of fur in 2019 after similar bans in San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

The selected image: Caged fur animals in a brawl filmed during a Humane Society International investigation at a Finnish fur farm. (Photo courtesy of Humane Society International)

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