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MPs file bill to ban fur farms in Estonia

People holding signs at a protest against fur farming.
People holding signs at a protest against fur farming. Source: (Martin Dremljuga/ERR)

MP Barbi Pilvre (SDE) on Thursday handed to the board of the Riigikogu a bill that would outlaw fur farms in Estonia beginning Jan. 1, 2028.

Pilvre said that ten years is enough time to provide retraining or find new jobs for the less than one hundred people working on fur farms now as well as for businesses to adapt to the new situation.

The bill to amend the Animal Protection Act and the Nature Conservation Act, initiated by 14 MPs, would end from Jan. 1, 2028 the keeping, breeding and propagation of animals for the production of fur, spokespeople for Social Democratic Party said.

The initiators of the bill come from both coalition and opposition parties in the Riigikogu. Only the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has said that they support the continuation of fur farming in the present form.

As of 2015, there were four mink and fox farms and 27 chinchilla farms in Estonia with a total of up to 200,000 animals.

In most countries where fur farms have been banned, the bans have been ethically motivated. Fur farms have been banned in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the UK, the German states of Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein and the Belgian region of Wallonia. Partial bans are also in effect in Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Public opinion in Estonia supports the ban on fur farms. According to a nationwide survey conducted by KantarEmor at the end of December 2016, 81 percent of women and 55 percent of men were not in favor of the keeping and slaughtering of animals on farms for the purpose of fur production.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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