Dutch animal welfare organizations join push for Europe to ban fur
Four Dutch animal welfare organizations have joined a European citizens’ initiative for the European Union to ban fur. They’ve collected over 1.5 million signatures, well above the 1 million signatures mark that forces the European Commission to take a serious look at a citizens’ initiative, Trouw reports.
Fur coats made from foxes or minks aren’t very popular in the Netherlands anymore. But even so, 32 million animals fall victim to the European fur industry every year, Bont voor Dieren said. It, Dier&Recht, Stichting Vier Voeters, and World Animal Protection threw their support behind the citizens' initiative.
Breeding animals for fur has been banned in the Netherlands for two years, but fur can still be imported and sold. In some European countries, breeding raccoons, foxes, minks, or chinchillas for their fur is still legal. Poland and Finland, for example, have large and thriving fur industries with millions of animals living in small cages, according to the newspaper.
Sandra Schoenmakers of Bont voor Dieren is pleased that the European Commission now has to consider a European fur ban. “Many major fashion brands have already stopped using fur, and it is generally sold less. But there are still many coats in the shops that have real fur collars,” she said. “People often think that a fur collar is not made of real fur because fur is expensive. But that image is wrong. Fur is made very cheaply in China, in an industry with often substandard conditions. If we ban breeding animals for fur in Europe, I hope it will also lead to a European import ban on fur.”
Anja Hazekamp, a Member of the European Parliament on behalf of the PvdD, called a ban on the sale of fur and breeding animals for fur badly needed. “Fur farms cannot meet the complex behavioral needs of wild animal species. Fur is incredibly cruel,” she said to the newspaper.