Fox and chinchilla fur: SP parliamentary resolution results in import ban

12 February 2008

Fox and chinchilla fur: SP parliamentary resolution results in import ban

Thanks to a motion put forward by SP Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen, fox and chinchilla furs will shortly be banned from import into the Netherlands. The motion from the SP's spokeswoman on animal welfare won support from a majority in parliament, obliging the government to act. Describing herself as “delighted with this success”, Van Velzen said: “In the Netherlands the keeping of foxes and chinchillas for fur production will be banned from 1st April, so it is only logical that importing these products should also be forbidden.”

Krista van VelzenThe motion was carried despite opposition from the two biggest parties of the right, the governing Christian Democrats (CDA) and the opposition Liberals (VVD). “It is to put it mildly hypocritical of these parties to support trade in this type of fur when it can only be produced at the cost of great suffering,” said Van Velzen, referring to the fact that “the VVD last year successfully proposed a ban on the import of seal fur on precisely the same grounds – unacceptable levels of suffering for animals. Obviously the cuddliness factor is greater in the case of seals than it is for foxes and chinchillas.” Krista van Velzen's motion also called on Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg to forward parliament's demand for an EU-wide ban on production of fur from the two animals to her colleagues in the Council of Agriculture Ministers.

Van Velzen saw a number of her other resolution win support in today's voting round. Chicken slaughter facilities will be subject to stricter controls, while the anomaly of certain birds and other animals – including geese and deer – being kept for commercial purposes while falling outside of all existing regulations, will be brought to an end.

Verburg was also asked to supply parliament with an overview of all breaches of the laws and regulations regarding animal transports uncovered in recent years. “We have still no clear view of what transgressions there have been in the area of animal welfare and what sanctions have been imposed as a result of these abuses,” she said. “This gap will now be filled.”

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