France to Shut Down All Mink Fur Farms by 2025
The French government is banning all mink fur farms. | Natalie Landsberg via Flickr.

France recently announced a complete ban on mink fur farming following an undercover investigation by animal campaigners.

French minister Barbara Pompili announced the end of mink fur farming on September 29. The last four remaining fur farms are to close no later than 2025. Pomplili’s announcement also included a ban on the use of orcas and other dolphins in marine parks and all wild animals in circuses.

The decision came less than a month after animal campaign group One Voice published undercover images and videos from France’s remaining mink fur farms. As with previous exposes on mink farming, the images documented cramped cages, dirty conditions, and injured and infected animals.

Animal advocacy group Humane Society International (HSI), reports that 77 percent of French citizens are in favor of a complete fur farming ban. While more than five hundred thousand people in France signed Referendum For the Animals which requests better legislative protection for animals, including a fur farming ban.

“We applaud the French government for taking a stand against the immense suffering endured by mink for fur fashion,” said Claire Bass, the executive director for HSI/UK. “This announcement is a great first step for France, but it allows for the unnecessary suffering of mink to continue for another five years.”

In addition to changing public attitudes towards fur, COVID-19 outbreaks have significantly impacted fur farms across Europe. According to HSI, 56 mink fur farms in the Netherlands reported infections. While farms in Spain and Denmark also reported several outbreaks.

The industry as a whole has now preventatively killed over two million mink to avoid further infection. This has also prompted increased restrictions on fur production.

Mink Fur Farm Bans

Thirteen European countries have already banned mink fur farming. Earlier this year, the Dutch government announced its plans to end the industry by 2021. Following an initial announcement of the ban in 2013, a complete phase-out was fast-tracked from 2025 following the COVID outbreaks across the Netherlands.

Fur farming is already prohibited or in the process of being phased out in Austria, the Czech Republic, Norway, Belgium, Ireland, and more.

While Britain banned fur farming in 2003, the government still allows the import and sale of fur products from countries such as France. Completely banning the import and sale of fur, in addition to its production, would significantly reduce demand. Former fur industry CEO Mike Moser has called for a complete ban; he labeled the trade “anachronistic” and “out of date.”