11/12/15 The End of Farming Animals for Fur in The Netherlands!

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A magnificent victory for six million Canadian minks in the Netherlands

- The Netherlands is celebrating: National Court of Appeals ruled that the public interest is more important than the economic interest of breeders

Dutch National Court of Appeals in The Hague issued a final decision on the appeal of the Dutch Government against the Dutch breeders of Canadian mink and brought a historical judgment in favor of six million Canadian minks in the Netherlands! The Court concluded that the public interest is more important than economic interest of mink breeders. The research was carried out by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture earlier this year showing that only 7% of the Dutch approve the cultivation and killing animals for their fur.

The Netherlands is the fourth largest breeder of minks and they kill about six million minks per year. In 2012, Dutch Senate voted for ban on breeding minks for ethical reasons. The ban came to life in January 2013, but in 2014, due to the appeal of fur breeders, Dutch District Court revoked a ban on breeding mink by stating that compensation offered to farmers is not sufficient. Dutch Ministry of Economy appealed the court's decision and the final verdict meant that mink breeding was yet come to an end in 2024 when all farms must be closed. This verdict also means that all existing farm expansions performed during the last year have now become illegal.

This victory is the result of long-term and intensive campaigns of Dutch organization Bont voor Dieren and international coalition Fur Free Alliance in which Animal Friends is a member. Animal protection organizations persist in exposing the living conditions of mink on the farms. However, in order to end the breeding and killing animals for their fur in the Netherlands, competent ministries and state authorities commit themselves for that cause which makes this great victory for animal rights even more important.

In 1995, the Netherlands banned the breeding of foxes for fur. Breeding of chinchillas for fur was banned in 1997, also due to inability to achieve adequate conditions for animal welfare on the farms and both banes came to life in 2008. Countries are increasingly moving towards a complete ban on fur farming and many of them have already adopted this praiseworthy ban.

Ban on breeding animals for the purpose of fur production is effective from 2007 in Croatia. However, currently is threatened by shameful initiative of Minister Jakovina and chinchilla breeders who do not respect the law. They want to continue chinchillas breeding in Croatia by making amendments to the Animal Protection Act. Instead of maintaining the ban, the minister proposes a retrogression of the Animal Protection Act.

The initiative to amend the law in this manner comes at a time when many breeders in Croatia have already redirected to the other types of production and when the number of chinchilla breeders is five times lower than in the time of the ban. The time when majority of political parties and a large majority of public supports the ban on animal breeding for fur which should come into life in January 2017. Example of The Netherlands shows that public attitude which abhors the completely unnecessary animal torture in the fur industry must be more important than interest of insignificant number of breeders.

The current ban on animal breeding for fur production should be the Croatian proud which must not be compromised but it should keep reaching the achieved level of animal protection. If the Netherlands with such significant fur production brought a ban then Croatia can also do it with her slight cultivation.

The court verdict in Dutch can be read here.

The court verdict in English can be read here.

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