The Estonian unicameral parliament (Riigikogu) recently banned fur farming, becoming the first Baltic nation to do so. It passed a bill of amendments to the Animal Protection Act and Nature Conservation Act, which prohibits the breeding and keeping of animals in Estonia solely or mainly for obtaining fur. Fifty six members of parliament (MPs) voted in favour and 19 against.
The ban does not threaten breeders of animals such as sheep or rabbits. The proposed ban only covers fur farming where fur production is the sole or main purpose, according to Estonian media reports.
The bill establishes a transitional period according to which permits for keeping mink and raccoon dogs in farms issued before July 1, 2021, are valid until December 31, 2025, as keeping mink and raccoon dogs in farms will be prohibited from January 1, 2026.
Several non-governmental organisations have supported the ban on fur farms.
The ban on fur farms has been under discussion in Estonia since 2009, when the issue was first raised in the Riigikogu. On May 10, 2017, the bill was rejected in the first reading. The second time it was voted on at the beginning of 2019, the bill was rejected again.
The first European countries to ban fur farms were the United Kingdom and Austria, in 2000 and 2005, respectively. Bans have also been adopted by North Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Luxembourg, Serbia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
In several countries, including Belgium, France, Norway, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina , the ban has been adopted but will enter into force after a transitional period.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)