The Dutch Parliament has voted 'overwhelmingly' in favor of shutting down the remaining mink fur farms in the Netherlands following outbreaks of COVID-19.
There are an estimated remaining 128 farms in the country, and have been COVID-19 outbreaks in 17 fur farms since 26 April, with two workers also believed to have contracted the virus from mink. As a result, hundreds of thousands of mink have been killed to prevent further spread.
The farms were set to be phased out by December 31, 2023, but now Dutch MPs have voted to close them earlier than this - despite the huge monetary value of the farms, with many being worth tens of millions of euros. Controversially, the politicians have voted to pay compensation to fur farmers from the public purse.
'Worth a celebration'
Despite the compensation, overall, the move have been branded a victory by animal advocates. In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Dr. Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for animal protection group Humane Society International/Europe, said: "The intensive breeding of animals on fur farms is an incredibly cruel practice that not only causes immense suffering to animals, but can also serve as a reservoir for coronaviruses.
"The Dutch Parliament has today said good riddance to an industry predicated on the out-dated idea that exploiting, depriving and killing animals for frivolous fur fashion is acceptable.
"While we are disappointed by the suggestion that taxpayers’ hard-earned money should be used as compensation to fur farmers who have kept this cruel industry alive in the face of massive public and political opposition, this vote calls on the government to act swiftly to end this inhumane practice before the existing 2024 deadline. That is worth a celebration. The Dutch government now has to take action to honour the Parliament’s wishes."
'Common sense move'
PETA director, Elisa Allen, added: "Kind people worldwide are celebrating the impending closure of Dutch fur farms after the Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning the breeding of minks, who go insane in hellish, filthy conditions that are breeding grounds for disease and where COVID-19 was recently transmitted from animals to humans.
"This common-sense move follows appeals and protests by PETA Netherlands, local groups, and Party for the Animals. PETA hopes the Netherlands will be the first of many countries to see the writing on the wall and shut down cruel fur farms or risk being the source of the next pandemic."