SP and Labour propose ban on fur farming

13 January 2008

SP and Labour propose ban on fur farming

Members of Parliament Krista van Velzen of the SP and Harm-Evert Waalkens of the PvdA (Labour Party) plan to bring forward a proposal on Monday for a ban on fur farms in the Netherlands. The two parties want to see the sector rapidly phased out, so that by 2018 at the latest no more minks or other animals would be killed for their pelts.

Krista van Velzen“Raising animals for the production of fur has no place in the twenty-first century," says Van Velzen. "There are sufficient alternatives, and the annual deaths of four million minks to produce a luxury commodity causes unnecessary suffering to animals.” Van Velzen and Waalkens, both of whom have won awards from animal welfare groups for their work on this and related issues, are willing to give the sector a ten year phase-out period, allowing it the chance to recoup investment and go over to other specialisms. This is in line with an earlier proposal which, despite winning the approval of a government under :Labour Prime Minister Wim Kok some years ago, never came to a parliamentary vote.

Research over many years has consistently shown that a large majority of the Dutch population disapproves of the wearing of fur. Almost three-quarters support a legal ban on fur farming. Under agriculture minister Gerda Verburg a national ban on the import of seal furs has been introduced, ahead of any move to ban the trade at European level. Van Velzen en Waalkens hope that Verburg will also now support national legislation which anticipates a European ban, rather than attempting to force through stronger animal welfare regulations at EU level.

“Our proposal goes some of the way to meeting the wishes of a very large part of the Dutch population," says Waalkens. "I hope this can be dealt with swiftly, so that we can close this debate once and for all."

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