The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is expected to bring proposals today to Cabinet to phase out fur farms. 14 EU Member States have already banned fur farms, and there have been sustained campaigns from various sources in Ireland.
These include Veterinary Ireland and the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), which have highlighted the cruelty of the practice.
Ruth Coppinger TD (Solidarity – People Before Profit) had introduced a Prohibition of Fur Farming Bill but there were concerns about legal aspects of the bill. The Government now proposes to introduce its own legislation instead.
There are constitutional aspects to be considered, as well as the effect on jobs in the industry. The minister will seek to establish a process for how best to deal with those still employed in fur farming around the country. There are reportedly three mink fur farms in operation in Ireland.
Ruth Coppinger’s bill has support across the opposition parties. The tide has turned against fur farming, and many of the major fashion houses no longer use animal fur in their products.
In the Dáil last week, Coppinger described the farming of mink and other animals for their fur as “cruel, backward, and barbaric”. She has called for a meeting with the minister to clarify what is in his proposals.
The National Animal Rights Association and the ISPCA have welcomed the minister’s proposals.