Fur Is Dead: Belgium Shuts Down Fur Farms Ahead of Schedule
Big news for animals: all 17 remaining fur farms in Belgium have reportedly been closed. This means that the country has ended all fur farming ahead of the scheduled end of 2023 deadline.
In 2018, the government of Flanders – the only region of Belgium that still allowed fur farming – adopted a decree to end the practice. The country’s 17 remaining mink farms were slated to be shut down by 2023, sparing the lives of thousands of minks.
The end of the fur industry in Belgium follows decades of work from animal rights organisations including PETA and Belgian animal protection group GAIA. The demand for fur is over, as consumers are turning their backs on the inherent cruelty and just about every major fashion brand is going fur-free, including Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, Dolce & Gabbana, and Canada Goose.
Big Names Know That Fur Is Dead
As part of the campaign the ban fur farms in Belgium, back in 2017, PETA US Honorary Director Pamela Anderson sent a letter on behalf of PETA and GAIA to then-minister Ben Weyts stressing that “barbaric cruelty is unacceptable in a civilized, progressive country”, and we are excited to see that Belgium has finally stopped this vicious practice.
Fur Farms Are a Living Hell
Minks are intelligent, sensitive animals who enjoy spending their time swimming and climbing.
Yet on fur farms, they’re kept in filthy wire cages so small that they can take only a few steps in any direction, which can cause them to chew on their legs or tails out of frustration. They often suffer from open wounds and infections and receive no veterinary care. Fur farmers use the cheapest killing methods available, including neck-breaking, poisoning, genital electrocution, and suffocation.
Mink farms are designed to maximise profits, and farmers often have little regard for the well-being of the animals, as PETA’s exposés have repeatedly shown. Animals on fur farms are plagued by fear, stress, disease, parasites, and other physical and psychological hardships on a daily basis. These conditions also create breeding grounds for disease and have been identified as COVID-19 hotspots.
What You Can Do
Belgium has now officially joined the growing list of countries that have closed all their fur farm, which also includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, and the UK.
However, tormenting and killing animals for their fur remains legal in Denmark. Fur farming there has been suspended after COVID-19 outbreaks but is due to resume in 2023. Please ask the prime minister of Denmark to follow Belgium’s lead and bad fur farming immediately.