On Tuesday 22 June 2021, Cabinet approval was granted to abolish fur farming in the Republic of Ireland. The measures will be part of an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, and are likely to include a provision that chinchillas and foxes and mink can not be farmed for their fur or skin. There are currently three fur farms in Ireland, which kill around 100,000 mink annually.
Successive governments have pledged to ban fur farming in Ireland for some years, after a campaign co-led by Respect for Animals. As we reported earlier this year, the fur farming ban formed a part of the programme for government and was listed as a priority bill when the 2021 new year’s legislative programme was published.
This latest development will escalate the process of phasing out fur farming, with the farms expected to be closed down by 2022. The Bill will be published as the Animal Health and Welfare (Amendment) Bill 2021.
Respect for Animals is delighted at this latest development, having campaigned for a #FurFreeIreland for a number of years, alongside colleagues at NARA and the ISPCA.
Fur farming has been in decline in Ireland over the past few years following a government agreement in 2019 to phase the practice out.
As is standard practice in legislation prohibiting fur farming, the three mink farms will be compensated for their compensated for the closing down of their operations, with a package which is likely to take into account earnings, redundancy payments and demolition fees.
Speaking outside Government Buildings in Dublin, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue confirmed that he had received Cabinet approval to introduce legislation ending fur farming In the Republic of Ireland.
At today’s cabinet meeting, I received support to press ahead with the Animal Health and Welfare (Amendment) Bill which will lead to the prohibition of fur farming in Ireland.— Charlie McConalogue (@McConalogue) June 22, 2021
This is a key Programme for Government commitment of mine. pic.twitter.com/ZujDxL6eIn
As part of the Fur Free Alliance, Respect for Animals worked closely with former TD Ruth Coppinger, who brought forward a Fur Farming Prohibition Bill a few years ago, which forced the then Irish government to change policy and agree to prepare a ban.
In response to the latest developments, Ms Coppinger tweeted:
Two years ago I published a Bill to #banfurfarms. The support the Bill got led to govt commitment to phase it out. The legislation is now being brought in. Thanks once again to all the organisations who supported & campaigned such as @NARACampaigns, @ISPCA1 @FurFreeAlliance #dubw pic.twitter.com/QXgLkR4oyv— Ruth Coppinger (@RuthCoppingerSP) June 22, 2021