The Government approved plans to phase out fur farming at a cabinet meeting this Tuesday.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the decision was based on "a shift in societal expectations in relation to the sector", following the report of a review group recommending stricter regulation in 2012.

Despite increased controls, the minister added: "Recent veterinary evidence suggests that the farming of mink is counter to good animal welfare."

The Government will now present a bill to the Oireachtas banning the establishment of any new fur farms.

The three existing fur farms in counties Donegal, Laois and Kerry will then be wound down "to allow time for employees to find alternative opportunities,” Minister Creed said.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the number of fur farms reduced from four to three in 2014, now producing 110,000 pelts each year.