Italy has adopted a “historic” ban on fur farms, the last of which will close in 6 months

    27 Dec 2021

    Italy has banned fur farms. They now have 10 such kind of farms, and all are due to close in the coming months. Government will pay farmers monetary compensation, Plant Based News reports.

    The Budget Committee of the Italian Senate voted in favor of approving the amended version of the amendment to the budget law. The Italian Senate has voted to approve an amendment to the budget law that will close the remaining ten mink farms in Italy within six months and ban fur farming throughout the country.

    The changes immediately outlaw the breeding of fur-bearing animals, including minks, foxes, chinchillas and raccoon dogs. Fur farms are associated with violations of animal welfare conditions and outbreaks of COVID-19, the bill said.

    Existing Italian animal farms must be closed by June 30, 2022.

    Italy intends to introduce a permanent ban on breeding fur animals throughout the country. The remaining ten mink farms will close within six months.

     It is noted that the Ministry of Agriculture will provide funds to farmers affected by the ban, allocating €3 million for this purpose.

    According to the animal protection organization Humane Society International / Europe (HSI), the official approval of the ban by parliament is expected by the end of this year.

    As a result, Italy will be the 16th country in Europe to ban fur farms.

    Many Italian designers have already made similar commitments, removing fur from their models, catwalks and magazine covers. Armani, Gucci, Prada, Valentino and Versace have abandoned fur in their collections.

    Meanwhile, ELLE magazine has promised never to work with or promote an animal product again – and this policy applies to all ELLE publications around the world.

    According to animal protection organization Humane Society International/Europe (HSI), Parliament’s official approval of the ban is expected to go through by the end of the year.

    Animal rights advocates have welcomed the news with open arms.

    Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla is president of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights and of the Italian League for the Defense of Animals and the Environment.

    In a statement, she said: “In thirty years of animal rights battle this is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity. Italy is the twentieth European country to introduce a ban or severe restriction on fur farming: better late than never. Now we await the final approval of the budget law, but the political will has been clearly expressed. A dream comes true that animal protection associations have cultivated for decades in our country. I want to thank all the colleagues of the Intergroup, in particular Vice-President De Petris, who presented the amendment and reported it to the committee, the parliamentarians who shared this choice and the Italian office of Humane Society International which has promoted the economic study whose results formed the ‘basis’ for formulating the proposal. It is a great achievement, which finally all those who love and respect animals rejoice!” 

    HSI’s director in Italy, Martina Pluda, shares Brambilla’s outlook.

    “This is a historic victory for animal protection in Italy, and HSI/Europe is immensely proud that our fur farm conversion strategy has played a central role in dismantling this cruel and dangerous industry in our country,” Pluda said, referring to HSI/Europe’s recent report on mink breeding, which outlined the risks of the trade and pathways to phase it out.

    As well as being rife with animal cruelty concerns, fur farming has been linked to multiple outbreaks of COVID-19. As of this month (December, 2021), such outbreaks have been confirmed on 465 mink farms in 12 countries, including Italy.

    The decision came about after talks with Humane Society International/Europe, which offered practical strategies in its report Mink breeding in Italy: Mapping and future perspectives for closing fur farms and converting them into businesses that are humane and sustainable. Following approval of the resolution by Parliament, Italy will become the 16th European country to ban fur farming.

    “There are very clear economic, environmental, public health and of course animal welfare reasons to close and ban fur farms,” said the director of Humane Society International in Italy, Martina Pluda, Humane Society International reported. “Today’s vote recognizes that allowing the mass breeding of wild animals for frivolous fur fashion represents a risk to both animals and people that can’t be justified by the limited economic benefits it offers to a small minority of people involved in this cruel industry. With so many designers, retailers and consumers going fur-free, conversion of fur farms offers people a sustainable future that the fur trade simply cannot provide.””

    The amendment requires all active fur farms in Italy be closed by June 30, 2022. It also includes an immediate ban on the breeding of mink, foxes, raccoon dogs and chinchillas, according to Humane Society International. To help ease the transition, fur farmers will be compensated €3 million by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2022, reported VegNews.

    Fur has been falling out of favor in the fashion world, with major brands like GUCCI, Prada, Valentino and Versace banning the use of fur in their collections, and large retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s no longer selling it.

    “With so many designers, retailers, and consumers going fur-free, conversion of fur farms offers people a sustainable future that the fur trade simply cannot provide,” Pluda said, VegNews reported.

    Fur farming also presents COVID-19 risks, as many mink farms in Europe discovered the presence of the virus early in the pandemic. COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at 465 mink fur farms in 12 countries, including Italy, the U.S. and Canada.

    The country’s plan to shut down its fur farms is projected to be in force by June 2022. The ban on breeding animals for fur farming will be effective immediately.

    Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2022 and HSI, along with other campaigners, are pushing for the UK government to ban the sale of fur altogether. The sale of fur from certain endangered species, along with domestic dog and cat and seal fur, is already outlawed.

    Pressure for other countries to ban fur has been increasing during the pandemic, due to outbreaks of COVID-19. As of December 2021, outbreaks of COVID-19 have been confirmed on 465 mink farms in 12 countries, including Italy (ten in Europe plus the United States and Canada). In February 2021, the European Food Standards Agency had reported that all mink farms should be considered at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks.

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    We will remind that in November 2021 in France, across all country government banned breeding of animals for the sake of fur. Read the full story here.

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