06/30/16 All of 11 Croatian MEPs Against Fur Farming
Croatian members of the European Parliament in agreement about animal protection
- Proposal for amendments to the Animal Protection Act should be soon up for a public debate
According to the Animal Protection Act, the fur farming ban should be put into effect on 1 January 2017, after a ten-year phase-out period. But this is under a threat because last year saw an unpopular initiative that chinchillas, the only animals kept for fur in Croatia, be excluded from this provision.
Until now, there has been a claim that there are only 50 farmers left, which is only a fifth of the number of farmers at the time the ban was introduced. However, the Ministry of Agriculture itself recently confirmed that only 20 farmers are registered. It is unknown whether all of those farmers are still active or how many of them became active after the ban was introduced.
Croatian MEPs in the European Parliament – Biljana Borzan, Ivan Jakovcic, Ivana Maletic, Marijana Petir, Tonino Picula, Andrej Plenkovic, Jozo Rados, Davor Ivo Stier, Davor Skrlec, Dubravka Suica i Ruza Tomasic – regardless of their political affiliation, have supported the existing fur farming ban! They have been motivated by ethical and ecological reasons, the opinion of the Croatian and European public as well as by the direction indicators of the EU Member States' legislation.
At the time of the introduction of the ban, Tonino Picula was one of the proposers of shortening the phase-out period from ten to seven years. Finding out about the possibility of canceling the ban, he said: "I strongly believe that all arguments that were in favour of the fur farming ban ten years ago can still be applied today, and that cancelling that ban would take us as a civilisation a step backwards. A ten-year phase-out period stipulated by the Provision was and remains an expression of appreciation of arguments of the entrepreneurs who were given an entire decade to adjust their businesses. Everyone who understands business cycles even a little cannot deny that this is a very friendly and generous gesture by lawmakers."
Ivan Jakovcic has also given his stance on the possibility of canceling the ban or extending the phase-out period: "I am appalled by the announcement of a possible cancelling of the ban or extending the phase-out period for the complete application of the fur farming ban in Croatia. I am strongly in favour of a complete termination of animal slaughter for fur farming purposes. I consider that this cruel activity causing physical and mental suffering of a great number of innocent animals is ethically unacceptable."
Davor Skrlec said: "Responsibility for the world of animals and the nature around us, of which we are an integral part, reflects the highest level of the development of consciousness of the modern society to which we as humankind have to aspire. Since today there are endless possibilities of alternative materials of high quality, fur farming is not a basic human need, but a wrongly imposed trend not concerned with nature or people. Bearing in mind a very long phase-out period as well as the consensus of citizens and professionals, I consider every amendment aimed at the cancelling of the fur farming ban unethical, unjustified, and in contradiction of the basic principles of the protection of animals, who deserve our care and respect."
Davor Ivo Stier, Dubravka Suica, and Andrej Plenkovic saiid that, just like their colleagues, they too completely support the fur farming ban.
Ruza Tomasic says: "I give my support to the existing provision of the Animal Protection Act from 2006 which banned fur farming. I consider it unnecessary to exclude chinchillas from the ban solely for the purpose of personal profits of individuals or companies who torture and kill animals in immoral ways. Unfortunately, chinchillas have been brought to the verge of extinction in their natural habitats precisely because of the greed of individuals and for the purpose of selling their fur."
Besides Croatia, complete, as well as part bans on fur farming exist in: the United Kingdom, Austria, Slovenia, FYR of Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Due to inability to follow the regulations, precisely chinchilla farms have been closed in Switzerland.
In the Netherlands the fur farming of chinchillas was banned in 1997, and last year, the National Court of Appeals in The Hague reaffirmed the ban on fur farming of all animals. Even though the Netherlands is the fourth-largest producer of mink fur in the world, the decision was made on ethical grounds. Seeing the situation that Croatia is in, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs have sent their support to our ban.
Animal Friends Croatia believe that during and after the public debate, amendments to the Animal Protection Act will be used for its improvement, not degradation.