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December 18, 2012

HSI/Canada Welcomes Historic Dutch Ban on Mink Fur Farming, Urges Canada to Follow Suit

Humane Society International/Canada

  • The Dutch Senate has taken a decisive step towards the final shutdown of the mink farming industry. The HSUS

MONTREAL, Quebec – Humane Society International/Canada applauds the Dutch Senate for passing historic legislation that will ban the farming of mink for fur in the Netherlands starting in 2024. The Netherlands is currently the third largest mink producer in the world. With fur farming of fox and chinchilla already banned in the Netherlands, this new legislation will ensure that all fur farming in the Netherlands will be prohibited from 2024.

“Right now, the Canadian codes of practice for minks and foxes are being reviewed, and it is clear that fur farming is causing immense suffering to animals,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada. “The Dutch Senate has recognized that it is morally wrong to confine animals in small, wire cages to be killed for their fur. HSI/Canada is calling on the Canadian government to follow the example of the Netherlands and prohibit outright the farming of animals for their fur.”

Fox and chinchilla fur farming were banned in the Netherlands on ethical and animal welfare grounds, in 1995 and 1997 respectively. The Parliament voted in favour of a phase-out date of 2024 for mink farming in June 2010, and the Senate’s endorsement today means the ban can now be passed into law. The final step is sign-off by the relevant Dutch Minister and the Queen, which HSI hopes will happen as soon as possible.

In the last decade, the Dutch mink farming industry has expanded exponentially with production growing from 3 million to an estimated 6 million mink pelts per year. In Canada, an estimated 2.6 million minks and foxes are confined annually on fur farms. Minks, who are naturally inquisitive, semi-aquatic, energetic and intelligent wild animals, are typically kept in environmentally barren, wire cages measuring little more than the length of a human arm. In the wild, these animals would enjoy environmentally rich riverbank territories of up to four kilometres. In their natural habitat, foxes are active animals who travel long distances while hunting, playing and exploring each day. On commercial fur farms, foxes are permanently housed in cages with no opportunity to express these natural behaviours. Stereotypical behaviour and self-mutilation are common signs of stress in fur-farmed animals.

HSI/Canada urges the Canadian government to recognize the inherent obstacles to animal welfare on fur farms, and take the necessary steps to end fur farming in our country.

Fur farming has also been banned across the United Kingdom on ethical grounds since 2003, and Austria and Croatia have introduced similar prohibitions.

 

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Media Contact: Dean Pogas, 514.395.2914, dpogas@hsi.org  

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than eleven million members and constituents globally—on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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