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Foxes in a cage at a fur farm

Latvian Parliament Bans Fur Farming

A FOUR PAWS statement 

22.9.2022

Vienna, 22nd September 2022 – Today, the Latvian Parliament passed a vote for a complete ban on the breeding of fur animals, which will enter into force in 2028. Latvia becomes the 15th European Union country to ban fur farming.

In recent years, there have been fewer fur farms functioning in Latvia, as well as fewer animals raised there. For instance, there were 617 thousand animals total in Latvian fur farms in 2017, 580 thousand in 2020, and 274 thousand in 2022.

Across the EU, there is currently a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) which aims to achieve an EU-wide ban on keeping and killing of animals for the sole or main purpose of fur production, as well as placing farmed animal fur, and products containing such fur, on the EU market.

The ECI currently has over 350,000 signatures.

Thomas Pietsch, Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles at FOUR PAWS, said there was an “unrelenting tide” against the breeding and sale of fur in Europe.

“What we are witnessing across Europe is an unrelenting tide in favour of banning fur farms. This is a moment in time and Latvia, having become the 15th EU member state to legislate for the ban, will not be the last. We fully welcome the decision.

Fur farming is outdated. It is needless, inherently cruel, and it is a health risk to the public, as we have seen over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The time of keeping and killing of animals for the sole or main purpose of fur production, as well as placing farmed animal fur, and products containing such fur, on the EU market needs to end immediately.”

Thomas Pietsch, Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles at FOUR PAWS

Background

Website to sign the ECI

The ECI Fur Free Europe was officially registered by the European Commission on 16/03/2022 and will run from 18/05/2022 for one year. The ECI was submitted by a group of 7 EU Member States.

Currently, at least 300,000 mink, as well as several hundred foxes and chinchillas, are killed for fur in Latvia every year. The number of fur farms operating in Latvia and the number of animals bred in them has been decreasing in recent years. For example, the total number of animals in Latvian fur farms in 2017 was 617 thousand, in 2020 – 580 thousand, in 2022 – 274 thousand animals.

Mink in a cage at a fur farm

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Alexander Lawson

Senior PR International Officer

Alexander.Lawson@four-paws.org

+44 (0) 7453 965 155

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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org

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