Downton Abbey’s Peter Egan has announced his support for the current attempts to ban the horror of fur factory farming in the Republic of Ireland. A well loved actor and widely respected vegan activist, Peter has today issued the following statement through the anti-fur organisation Respect for Animals:
“Many of us are shocked to learn that Ireland still has fur farms. Such a barbaric industry belongs in the past. Ruth Coppinger TD was right when she declared, as she moved the Bill in the Dail, that this is ‘an idea whose time has come’.
I believe the continuance of this cruel industry is a stain on Ireland’s character.
Recent footage from around Europe has once again highlighted the horror of fur farming and, for the sake of hundreds of thousands of mink raised and killed each year in Irish fur farms, this Bill has to succeed. I’m joining Respect for Animals in calling for all Irish politicians to back the ban on Irish fur farms.”
Most people are unaware of the fact that Ireland has a secret fur trade – there are currently 3 mink farms in the country, where annually a total of around 200,000 mink are killed.
It came close to being banned in 2012 but the legislation didn’t go through owing to the collapse of the Fianna Fáil/Green coalition. We now have another chance to succeed.
‘Prohibition Of Fur Farming Bill 2018’
At the beginning of October the Solidarity party’s Ruth Coppinger TD formally moved the ‘Prohibition of Fur Farming Bill 2018’ in the Irish Dail. The Bill has now passed its first stage, the start of a journey that we hope will see an end to the horror of fur factory farming in Ireland. In November, an exhibition featuring representatives from Respect for Animals and the Fur Free Alliance will be presented to politicians at the Irish parliament and experts will explain the necessity of the ban to the national media. There will also be a press conference.
Fur Farming in on the way out in Europe
Animals are killed on fur farms after short and miserable lives in small wire mesh battery cages. Keeping wild predators in small cages results in numerous serious stress-related health problems: infected wounds, missing limbs, cannibalism and stereotypical behaviour. To preserve the pelts animals on fur farms are killed by cruel methods as gassing, neck-breaking, anal electrocution and sometimes skinning alive.
Each year, around 32.1 million animals in the European Union are kept and killed solely for the purposes of fur production. Mink, fox and raccoon dogs, the main species of animals reared in fur factory farms, are still essentially wild animals, which have been subject to little active selection for tameness and adaptability to captive environments. They are unsuitable to be kept for production purposes. These animals spend short and miserable lives in small wire cages, only to be gassed or electrocuted to death when their pelts are at their prime.
Due to concerns on animal welfare and ethics, fur farming bans are increasingly widespread. Next to that, more and more countries are phasing out fur farming or are adopting stricter regulations that cause fur farms to close down.
The first countries to ban fur farming were the United Kingdom (2000) and Austria (2004). In December 2012, the Netherlands, which is the EU’s second largest mink producer, passed a ban on fur farming and will phase-out mink production entirely by 2024.
In Croatia fur farming has been banned since 2018 after a 10-year phase-out period for farms to transition to a more sustainable industry. Slovenia banned fur farming in March 2013 with a three year phase-out for existing farms
In January 2018, Norway, once the world’s largest producers of fox pelts, announced its intention to prohibit fur farming. One year earlier, in August 2017, the Czech Republic decided for a ban on fur farming that is to become effective in 2019. The most recent countries to adopt fur farming bans are Luxembourg, where a law was passed in June 2018 that outlaws fur farming entirely starting October 2018, and Belgium, where fur farming will end in 2023.
Other countries that have banned or are phasing out fur farming are the Republic of Macedonia (2014), Serbia (2019) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2029). Proposed legislation to prohibit fur farming is currently being considered in Poland.
We are hoping that Ireland will now join these countries.