08/04/17 Czech Republic Bans Fur Farming!
Europe is increasingly showing that the exploitation of animals for fur is a relic from a backwards past
- After Croatia this year, the ban is expected to enter into force in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia as well
This week, Mr. Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, signed the amendment to the law on the protection of animals, banning fur farming in the Czech Republic. Once signed by the President, the amendment is adopted definitely, and will enter into force – i.e. it will become part of the Czech legal order – on the day of its publication in the collection of laws, which should happen within 30 days from reception of the newly adopted law by the ministry. The amendment will become effective on the first day of the second calendar month following its publication.
Fur farming will be banned as of January 31, 2019, and farmers will be compensated to help them fulfil their long-term obligations. After detailed discussions in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the amendment was adopted with little opposition. The Chamber of Deputies adopted it in June with 132 votes for and only nine against, while the Senate did so in July with 39 votes for and only three against. In both cases, there were other amendments on the table, such as the adoption of the WelFur certificate or an extension of the transition period and a significant increase in compensations paid to the farmers. Instead of those proposals, a shorter transition period with lesser compensation was agreed upon.
Ms Lucie Hemrová, the representative of the Svoboda zví°at (Freedom for Animals) organization stated: "We would like to thank the Czech legislator for having lent an ear to the voice of the public, who sees killing animals for the purpose of fashion as an unethical relic of the past. This is a true milestone in the history of animal protection, a victory of compassion towards other living creatures, who feel pain and who suffer. We are thrilled with the news!"
Nine farms in the Czech Republic, keeping a total of approximately 20,000 mink and foxes, will be affected by the ban. Animal protection entities claim that the animals are kept in poor conditions and cruelly killed by electrocution or suffocation via exhaust gas. The adoption of the amendment banning fur farming is in line with public opinion. The latest opinion poll carried out in the spring of this year by the Focus agency demonstrated that 83% of Czechs are in favour of the ban on fur farming.
Keeping animals for their fur is not condemned only in the Czech Republic, but all over Europe. The Czech Republic is joining the ranks of another 12 European countries, which have already adopted similar bans or significant restrictions on fur farming.
For the Svoboda zví°at organisation, the ban is the pinnacle of a long campaign which started eighteen years ago.
In Croatia, the ban on fur farming was adopted in 2007. It entered into force on the 1st of January this year, following the expiration of a long phasing out period. Amongst the countries of the region, the ban is already in force in Slovenia, Austria, and Macedonia, while it is expected to enter into force next year in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia in 2019.