Dutch mink fur farms will close permanently by March 2021

Read Time:   |  7th September 2020

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The lives of over 13.5 million mink will be saved after the Dutch government agrees that all mink fur farms must permanently close by March 2021

The Dutch government has agreed to the early closure of all minks farms in a move that will save the lives of millions following the mink fur ban in 2013.

Mink fur farming was banned in the Netherlands in 2013 with a deadline for complete phase-out by 2024, but all farms have now been ordered to close for good by March 2021.

The decision to close the farms early has been fast-tracked to prevent long term COVID-19 virus reservoirs forming on affected farms after an estimated 2 million mink were preventatively culled following an outbreak of coronavirus on 41 fur farms.

The Netherlands farmed around 4.5 million mink in 2018. Since April, two fur farm workers are believed “extremely likely” to have contracted the virus from mink.

Following the announcement, farms will not be required to preventatively cull mink on the 120 remaining fur farms unless new COVID-19 outbreaks occur.

According to leading animal charity Humane Society International, mink on unaffected farms will be slaughtered for their pelts in November this year, but breeders are not permitted to restock, meaning fur farms will close forever. By March 2021, all remaining mink operations will be bought out by the government.

‘Sick industry’

Humane Society International has praised the Dutch government for ordering the early closure of fur farms in the Netherlands and closing this chapter on this animal abuse industry.

Speaking from Amsterdam, Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe, said: “This signals the end of suffering for millions of animals confined to small wire cages on fur farms in the Netherlands.

“We commend the government on its decision to end this incredibly cruel and completely unnecessary industry and protect citizens. With 41 fur farms and an estimated 2 million mink now having been infected, the risk of keeping these virus reservoirs operating, is far too great.

“Over the past weeks, the Dutch government has failed to act as infection numbers rose. Without this early termination of fur farming, up to 13.5 million more animals would be forced to suffer short and miserable lives solely to supply the fickle fashion industry.

“It is a sick industry both literally and figuratively. There has never been a more compelling time for the Netherlands to shut down this industry for good”.

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