Mink fur farming will be banned in Ireland following the passage of a bill through the final stages in the Seanad. The ban follows lobbying efforts from animal welfare groups.
The Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) bill 2021 will be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins in the coming weeks.
There are currently three active mink fur farms in Ireland, one in each of the counties Donegal, Laois and Kerry, that breed and rear mink for the purposes of pelting for the fur industry, which will be closed under the new plan.
The three farms are considered large farms, producing in the region of 120,000 mink per annum
The bill includes a compensation scheme for mink farming operators for losses resulting from the ban.
The three farms are considered large farms, producing in the region of 120,000 mink per annum. The number of farms reduced from four to three in 2014.
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 was called for of the 120,000 mink due to the detection of a COVID-19 variant in mink on a farm in Denmark.
These farms cannot provide for the five freedoms of animal welfare
Green Party Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett said: “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.
“These farms cannot provide for the five freedoms of animal welfare, particularly in relation to the need to express normal behaviours.
“No welfare standards or inspection regimes can prevent welfare problems being encountered regularly on fur farms.”