Poland close to historic fur farming ban

Over two dramatic days, the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish Parliament) has held a historic meetings advancing the legal protection of animals in Poland. It concerned the so-called “Five for animals”: a proposed bill with key changes to animal protection law. MPs voted in favour of an amendment, which includes a ban on breeding animals for fur. The sitting of Sejm on Thursday, 17 September 2020 was saw an impressive majority backing the legislation. Politicians from across the political spectrum supported the initiative and resulting in a majority of MPs (77%) voting in favour. Now the bill has to be voted on by the Senate (the upper house of Polish parliament) and signed by the president.  The sponsor of the Bill was the Law and Justice Party MP Grzegorz Puda, Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy. He defended the project against attacks by fur industry apologists. In addition to the key issue of ethics of animal cruelty, he argued that the project had involved consultations with villagers who suffer from the stench, insect infestations, environmental and groundwater pollution as a result of fur production. This victory over the cruel and unnecessary fur trade is a major moment in the anti-fur campaign: Poland is the third biggest fur producer in the world. Every year over 5 million animals are killed for fur in Poland. This cruelty is now close to finally coming to an end. Respect for Animals is proud to campaign with our Fur Free Alliance colleagues Otwarte Klatki and Viva! Poland and commends their fantastic campaigning in Poland. After many years of frustration, this legislation has progressed remarkably swiftly. Last week, we brought you news of a shocking new undercover investigation from Poland on one of the world’s biggest fur farms, which depicted horrible suffering of mink. The footage revealed numerous cases of cannibalism, aggression, self-harming, open wounds and paralysis amongst mink on the farm. Also, it showed the lack of veterinary care on the farm and many cases of animals escaping. After viewing the recent footage Mark Glover, Campaigns Director at Respect for Animals said: “This is a shocking investigation. The suffering of these animals can scarcely be imagined. “I personally know what impact seeing these atrocities first hand and close up can have. As the undercover activist said in the video, some of the things he has seen will live with him forever. I still live with some of what I saw in UK fur farms more than 20 years ago and it is not easy, but is certainly one of the things that has driven me on to work to end this disgusting industry.” Just two hours after the publication of this footage a press conference was organised by the ruling party, in which they announced the “Five for Animals” bill. Respect for Animals has been running an open letter to the Polish Embassy calling for a fur farming ban. You still have time to add your name, here: : You can read our coverage of the recent undercover footage from a Polish fur farm here.