Which Countries Have Banned Fur Farming?

Mar 25, 2022by Olivia - F&F

Every year, more than 100 million animals are killed for their fur. Many European countries have stepped up to ban fur farming and the sale of fur — will Australia follow suit?

Mink Fur FarmingMink Fur Farming

Photograph: Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurrattsalliansen

What Is Fur Farming & Why Is It Cruel?

Every year, countless fur-bearing animals are bred and killed on intensive fur farms. The number of minks, foxes, chinchillas, lynxes, rabbits, raccoons, beavers, bears, dogs and cats killed every year is upward of 100 million. These animals are bred and killed to supply the fashion industry with material for fur coats, fur trims, gloves, shoes and other clothing and accessory items. Around 85% of the fur industry’s skins come from animals living in fur farms. The rest are trapped and killed in the wild. 

China is the largest fur producer in the world. Sadly, millions of animals live a short, painful life in these fur farms — experiencing horrific treatment, cramped conditions, poor hygiene, minimal veterinary care, as well as injuries, rampant disease, and psychological stress.

Countries That Have Banned FurCountries That Have Banned Fur

Photograph: Green Matters / Plant Based News

Which Was The First Country To Ban Fur Farming?

Did you know that the United Kingdom was the first country in the world to ban fur farming — way back in 2000? That’s right! This decision was closely followed by Austria in 2005. 

In 2012, the Netherlands agreed to end fur farming by 2024 — even though they were once the European Union’s second-largest producer of mink! In good news, the Dutch Government announced an early shutdown of the industry in early 2020 due to Covid-19 outbreaks. 

Slovenia banned fur farming in 2013 with a 3-year phase-out period, and after a 10-year phase-out period, Croatia finally banned fur farming in 2018. Luxembourg followed in 2018, and the Czech Republic in 2019. In late 2021, the French senate voted by an overwhelming majority to ban fur farming, which happened immediately! Italy announced their ban for 2022.

Fox Fur FarmingFox Fur Farming

Photograph: Fred Dott / FOUR PAWS

Which Countries Are In The Process Of Banning Fur Farming?

There are many countries that have introduced laws to ban fur farming, and many of these are still completing their phase-out periods. In 2023, we can expect to see Belgium cease all fur farming. By 2025, both Slovakia and Norway will prohibit fur farming. Norway was once the world’s largest producer of fox pelts! In 2026, the fur farming practice will end in Estonia. 

Some countries have opted for partial bans on fur farming. In 2006, Japan made it illegal to build new mink fur farms, which led to a gradual phase-out of the practice. In 2013, New Zealand prohibited the import of mink fur, which effectively banned mink farming entirely. In 2016, Spain introduced a ban on new mink fur farms, and in November 2020, following concerns of animal welfare and Covid-19 outbreaks, Hungary introduced an immediate ban on fur farming.

Ban on Fur FashionBan on Fur Fashion

Photograph: Instagram / butik.aslim

Some Places Have Even Banned The Sale Of Fur!

Some cities, states and countries have even prohibited the sale of fur! In 2021, Israel became the first country in the world to ban fur sales, with around 86% of Israelis showing support for the proposal! Earlier, in 2019, California became the first state in the U.S to ban the manufacture and sale of animal fur products. Some cities in Massachusetts, Michigan and Florida have also passed similar legislation!

Some countries have introduced new animal welfare legislation that applies to fur farming practices. These new laws have not only improved the welfare of all animals, they’ve also produced some positive outcomes. European countries like Germany, Sweden and Switzerland have introduced tough animal welfare laws that have all but decimated the fur farming industry. There are no specific bans, but under the new regulations, fur farming has been deemed as unprofitable.

As many countries around the world ban fur farming and the sale of fur, Australia is lagging behind. Australia continues to support this cruel industry by condoning the import and sale of animal fur. If you’d like to end fur sales in Australia and create a #FurFreeAustralia, please sign this Four Paws Petition to show your support.

To learn more about animal welfare, check out our Vegan and Eco News categories and the blogs below.

11 Ingredients You Won’t Find At F&F (And Why!)

Help End Testing On Animals Forever

Why Choose Cruelty-Free?

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