This is excellent news coming to us from Belgium. In 2018, the government of Flanders – the only region in Belgium that still allowed fur farming – passed a decree to end the practice. The last mink farms in the country were to be closed by 2023, sparing the lives of thousands of animals.
The end of Belgium's fur industry follows decades of work by animal rights organizations, including PETA entities and Belgian animal welfare group GAIA. The demand for fur is over, consumers are turning away from the cruelty inherent in this material and almost all major fashion brands have decided to do without it, such as Chanel, Moncler, Dolce & Gabbana and Canada Goose.
Big names know fur is dead
As part of the campaign to ban fur farms in Belgium, in 2017, Honorary Director of PETA USA, Pamela Anderson, sent a letter to then Minister Ben Weyts, stressing that “this barbaric cruelty is unacceptable in a civilized and progressive country”, and we are delighted to see that Belgium has finally put an end to this vicious practice.
Fur farms are hell
Minks are intelligent and sensitive animals that like to spend time swimming and climbing.
Yet on fur farms they are kept in filthy wire cages so small they can only take a few steps in each direction, which can lead them to chew their legs or tails out of frustration. They often suffer from open wounds and infections and receive no veterinary care. Fur farmers use the cheapest killing methods available, including neck breaking, poisoning, genital electrocution, and suffocation.
Mink farms are designed to maximize profits, and ranchers often have little regard for animal welfare, as surveys released by PETA have repeatedly shown. The animals in these farms are daily plagued by fear, stress, disease, parasites and other physical and psychological difficulties. These conditions also create breeding grounds for disease and farms have been identified as hotbeds of COVID-19.
Belgium has just officially joined the growing list of countries that have closed all their fur farms, which also includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia North, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.
In France, only the breeding of wild animals for their fur is prohibited – there are still around ten Orylag rabbit farms, bred for their fur, and around thirty rabbit farms for Angora. Thousands of animals are therefore still slaughtered and skinned each year to fuel a barbaric fashion.