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For Immediate Release: 12/18/12

The Netherlands Decides to Ban Mink Fur Farming

Today animal welfare organizations in the Netherlands are celebrating a long-awaited victory. The Senate voted in favor of a ban on mink fur farming. The ban will come into force in 2024, which means that by that date, there is no more fur farming in the Netherlands.

The Fur Free Alliance, a global network of animal welfare organizations including Born Free USA, welcomed the ban and expressed hope that other countries will follow, as it is a clear statement that animal suffering for fashion is no longer acceptable.

With 6 million minks per year, the Netherlands is Europe’s third-largest producer of mink pelts, after Denmark and China. The political discussion about a ban on mink fur farming started in 1999. A proposal to ban it by 2018 was accepted by the House of Representatives, but did not get a majority in the Senate. The main argument against the ban was the financial problems it would cause the farmers. Therefore, the original law proposal was changed to go into force in 2024, and provides a financial compensation of the demolition costs of 28 million euro for the farmers.

Born Free USA joins Fur Free Alliance partners Four Paws Netherlands and Fur for Animals, among others, in hoping that other countries — including the United States — will follow the example that that Austria, England and Croatia have set.

According to Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA, “If a country like the Netherlands can ban a mink fur farming industry, there is no reason for other countries to continue allowing this cruel and brutal industry.”

Nicole van Gemert, director of Fur for Animals, says she is happy that after a political process of 23 years, the politicians were able to listen to the majority of the population of the Netherlands: “An inquiry by the Ministry of Agriculture showed earlier this year that only seven percent of the Dutch approved of killing animals only for their fur. It’s a logical step to ban mink farming after the ban on dog, cat and seal fur.”

Also, in 1995 and 1998 bans were announced on fox and chinchilla fur farming, which both came into force in 2008. The ban on mink fur farming will end all fur farming in the Netherlands.

Joh Vinding, chair of the Fur Free Alliance, visited the Netherlands when the final debate in the Senate took place: “The Alliance has shown that working together and sharing expertise and ideas will bring all of us further for a fur free world. We’ve watched the Netherlands for the last decade and hope all of us will be able to spread the fur farm ban to other countries.”

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Media Contact: Rodi Rosensweig, publicrelations@bornfreeusa.org, (203) 270-8929.

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