In a historical vote, the Social Democratic party of Finland (SDP) committed to working towards ending fur farming and fur sales both in Finland and in the EU within a reasonable transition period. News on the decision broke on during the Social Democrats’ party congress, held in Tampere, Finland.
Finnish animal rights organizations Animalia and Justice for Animals thank the Social Democrats for their forward-thinking conclusion. The SDP is Finland’s largest party, and their newly confirmed party leader Sanna Marin is Finland’s current Prime Minister. The ruling party’s decision comes at a time when the acceptability of fur farming is increasingly questioned both among EU citizens and in daily politics. Out of the five parties in Government, the Green Party and the Left Party are also officially against fur farming.
“74% of Finnish citizens oppose current fur farming practices. For years, animal advocacy organizations have been working hard for a ban on fur farming in Finland. It is brilliant that Finland’s largest party has updated their position in line with the popular opinion. The majority of the Government parties are now in favour of a fur farming ban. We expect Sanna Marin’s Government to take the necessary steps to end fur farming. The next logical move would be to propose legislation to prohibit fur farming,” Heidi Kivekäs,Executive Director of Animalia, comments.
Initiatives to ban fur farming have entered the parliamentary process in several European countries. Many countries have already introduced full bans, one of the latest being another Nordic country, Norway. A ban is highly possible in Finland now that three out of five Government parties are committed to ending fur farming for good.
“We are extremely pleased with SDP’s freshly formed stance. Animals need everyone for their defense, and an important new ally has now joined the ranks. There are politicians opposing fur farming among other parties too, even if there is no official party line yet. There is still a lot of work to be done so that this party position does not turn into an empty promise,” says Kristo Muurimaa of Justice for Animals.
Both Animalia and Justice for Animals are members of the Fur Free Alliance (FFA), a European anti-fur organization. Respect for Animals have congratulated our colleagues in the Fur Free Alliance on this historical win.