Italy will prohibit breeding of fur-bearing animals and close fur farms

NEWS AND COMMENT-ITALY: This is brilliant news for anybody interested in animal welfare. All of us should be but that is another story. Italy’s senators have decided to close Italy’s last mink farms. The designers of clothes have moved away from including fur in their products. They want to halt the suffering at last.

Farmed mink
Farmed mink. Photo: Getty. File image.

Italy is going to ban the breeding of fur-bearing animals and close all 10 remaining active fur farms by the end of June 2022. And they are going to compensate the fur farmers out of a €3 million fund.

The vote to achieve this will receive its final approval by the end of this year. The decision makes Italy the 16th country in Europe to completely ban the fur trade.

The director of the Humane Society International in Italy, Martina Pluda, said:

“Allowing the mass breeding of wild animals for frivolous fur fashion represents a risk to both animals and people that can’t be justified.”

I think she has put that quite nicely. She has couched the justification for the ban on the risk to animals and people. Is this a nod to Covid? Is it a hint at the risk that fur farms bring to employees namely the transmission of zoonotic diseases from animals to people which is exactly what happened at the beginning of the Covid pandemic?

I would prefer to argue the case for a ban on fur farming on the basis that it is animal cruelty at the convenience of people. People don’t have to wear genuine fur. There are good substitutes. In fact, ironically, some fur substitutes are more valuable than the real thing which highlights how undervalued animals are on this planet sometimes.

RELATED: Jackie Kennedy’s Role in Leopard Fur Craze.

Initially many designers and retailers together with consumers are going fur-free. They are going to convert the fur farms to make them more sustainable.

The designers which have stopped using fur include Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Prada and Versace.

An animal rights advocate and a Forza Italia MP, Michela Brambrilla, said:

“Finally, the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals”.

Absolutely, yes. Finally, Italy has stamped on this most objectionable trade. It simply cannot be justified. It never could be justified except perhaps when humans were living in caves but today, in the 21st century, it is particularly outmoded and passé.

The president of the Italian fur trade Association, Roberto Tadini defended the trade when he said:

“The breeding of mink in Italy is a small sector of the economy but it is a world leader. It belongs to a rural tradition and culture with centuries of history behind it.”

That is exactly the problem. It is a trade rooted in the dark past. There is no place for it in modern society. It cannot be justified. Mentioning its history does not help to justify it today. Exactly the opposite: it reminds us that it is a passé and out of date industry which should be entirely shut down across the globe. It would be in a more humane world where animals were better respected.

Denmark is one of the best countries to live in, in the world. It is known for its high quality of life for humans. Apparently, we can’t say the same about mink living in that country because they have a massive mink fur farming industry. We know that because during the height of the Covid pandemic lockdown at the end of last year, the government killed all 17 million mink at fur farms in their country. They were frightened that the mink would transmit Covid to humans. I believe that they used gas chambers to do it en masse. The whole thing was terribly cruel. Shame on them.

It beggars belief, doesn’t it? This high-quality country engaging in mass animal cruelty for the convenience of people and to support the objectionable fur-trade business and then deciding to add insult to injury and kill 17 million sentient creatures in order to protect people (maybe). It makes you want to weep actually.

Jackie Kennedy in genuine leopard fur coat. The coat is styled simply to emphasis the fur
Jackie Kennedy in genuine leopard fur coat. The coat is styled simply to emphasis the fur. This was the era when fur clothing was perhaps at its peak. It’s gradually gone downhill since thank God.
Italy bans fur farming
Italy bans fur farming. This is what the pelts look like. These were sentient beings at one time kept inhumanely in cages. Photo: Shutterstock.


PETA, of course, are delighted. They have long campaigned against the cruel fur farming industry. They tell me that investigations into the Italian fur farm business found that minks were living in cramped wire cages. Some of the animals resort to cannibalism and self-mutilation because of the extreme stress of confinement. When they are killed, they are gassed to death. This is described by PETA as a horrible fate for semi-aquatic animals such as minks as they can hold their breath underwater for long periods of time. PETA say that their voices have been heard. They got a letter signed by 15 Italian celebrities to the Italian government calling for the permanent closure of fur farms. They want people to take action against Denmark and Sweden to follow Italy’s footsteps.

Countries where the fur trade is banned or it is in the process of being banned and the dates when commenced.

In the words of PETA, they are “implementing or announcing bans on fur farming”.

2000 UK
2004 Austria
2006 Japan
2006 Croatia
2009 Serbia
2009 Bosnia and Herzegovina
2013 Slovenia
2014 Macedonia
2015 The Netherlands
2017 Germany
2017 Czech Republic
2018 Norway
2018 Luxembourg
2018 Belgium
2019 Ireland
2019 Slovakia

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