VICTORY: Republic of Ireland passes law to ban fur farming

Respect for Animals is delighted that the Bill to ban fur farming in the Republic of Ireland has passed the final stages of the parliamentary process. Having passed the Dáil in early 2022, the Bill passed its final stage in the Seanad on the evening of Tuesday 29 March 2022. The legislation now goes to the President to be signed into law.

Ireland becomes the most recent country to ban fur farming, after similar moves in France, Italy and Estonia in 2021. It is expected that the farms will close this year, although we await the publication of the final regulation from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine once the Bill becomes law.

The Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 had been subject to some delay after the government decided to add legislation concerning forestry. Some objections were raised by a handful of senators about compensation in relation to fur farm workers, but the need to end the cruelty of fur factory farming received support from across the political divide in both houses of the Oireachtas.

Pictured: the Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill completes its final stage in the Seanad.

Successive governments had pledged to ban fur farming in Ireland for some years, after a campaign co-led by Respect for Animals (backed by Fur Free Alliance), with the organisations NARA and ISPCA instrumental in the campaign. As we reported previously, the fur farming ban formed a part of the programme for government and was listed as a priority bill when the 2021 legislative programme was published.

Public opinion was demonstrated by the results of an independently conducted opinion poll by Red-C and commissioned by Respect for Animals. The poll found that 80% of people in the Republic of Ireland want fur farming to be banned.

The cruelty of the fur industry was further exposed by the publication of a report from Veterinary Ireland.  The report considered all the scientific evidence and concluded that, on animal welfare grounds, ‘there should be an immediate ban on the farming of mink, and similar wild animals, for the production of fur’.  Veterinary Ireland’s report relied on a comprehensive scientific review published by Respect for Animals, The Case Against Fur Factory Farming, which was launched at the European Parliament.

Mark Glover, Director at Respect for Animals, said:

“This is a historic day for animal welfare in the Republic of Ireland. I have been involved in the campaign to end fur farming in Ireland for over 15 years, so this ban is long overdue, but it is fantastic news for all compassionate people. I would like to pay tribute to all campaigners in Ireland who helped make this possible, particularly colleagues at NARA. It is essential that legislators around the world – including at EU-level – take urgent action to end the cruelty of fur factory farming once and for all.”