The Parliament of Latvia is open to banning fur farming as 63% of the population disapproves of this industry.
The Saeima, the unicameral Parliament of Latvia approved on January 20 the concept of banning farms from raising animals for the only purpose of selling fur.
Latvian lawmakers “conceptually supported” amendments to the Animal Protection law in the first reading of the modifications. The amendments aim at banning farms where breeding animals is for the only objective of selling fur.
Two similar draft laws are proposed. One is created by 11 members of Parliament, another is drafted by the ministry of Agriculture. The main difference is that the ministry plans on a ban effective in 2024 and not 2026.
On Wednesday, the organization Animal Freedom demonstrated outside the Saeima’s building for the ban on fur farming. An open letter to the Saeima is signed by 41,000 people and 50 non-profits calling for the ban.
According to the association, a survey shows that 63% of the Latvian population disapproves of breeding or killing animals for fur production.
18 countries in Europe voted a ban on fur farms so far
The letter denounces that more than half a million animals are killed every year by electric shock or by asphyxia only for their furs in Latvia. Fur farms in Latvia are mostly of minks, foxes and chinchillas.
The European Union is the largest producer of farmed furs. But several countries have banned fur farming in recent years, like Austria, the Netherlands, or Italy which implements the law on June 2022. So far, 18 countries in Europe voted a ban on fur farming.
Latvia’s neighbor Estonia banned fur farms in June 2021 for implementation in the end of 2025.
Thousands of minks have been culled across Europe in recent months because of the spread of Covid-19 among the animals. As entire farms saw the population of minks decimated, countries like Italy, the Netherlands or France took the opportunity to stop or reduce the transition period for stopping mink farms.
The members of Parliament and the Ministry of Agriculture will now work on more detailed versions of the proposals.
The discussion will continue in February as two more readings are necessary before the Saeima can pass the law.
Furs may also be traded from captured wild animals in some countries.