The last of Ireland’s mink farms closed in December, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee this week, the minister confirmed that all mink had been removed and the farms had been closed by the end of last year.

He said that engagement with the three large mink farms is ongoing, as compensation continues to be worked out and is not yet finalised.

The practice of mink farming was banned through the Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021, which was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins in April 2023.

The bill had passed all stages of review by the Dáil and Seanad by the end of March last year and came about following lobbying efforts from animal welfare groups.


At the time of the bill’s finalisation, Ireland had three active mink fur farms, one in each of the counties Donegal, Laois and Kerry.

The farms had bred and reared mink for the purposes of pelting for the fur industry, which has now ceased operations.

The three farms were considered large farms, producing in the region of 120,000 mink per annum. The number of farms reduced from four to three in 2014.

Each farm was to receive compensation for its forced closure under the Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021.


The Irish Farmers Journal previously revealed that the Department of Agriculture paid consultancy firm Grant Thornton a sum of €98,000 for a mink farming review in 2021.

The mink farming sector also gained further scrutiny in 2020, when a cull of the 120,000 mink was called for due to the detection of a COVID-19 variant in mink on a farm in Denmark.

Green Party Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett said last year: “Banning fur farming is a vital step in the protection of animal welfare and puts us in line with similar legislation being implemented across Europe.

“No welfare standards or inspection regimes can prevent welfare problems being encountered regularly on fur farms.”

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