Mink Farm in Poland

BREAKING: Lithuanian Parliament Votes to Ban Fur Farming 

If signed into law by the President, the ban will be implemented in 2027


Vilnius/Vienna 21 September 2023 – Today, after years of campaigning from animal welfare organisations, a vote in the Lithuanian parliament was finally passed to ban fur farms. The ban will be implemented from 2027 if Gitanas Nausėda, the Lithuanian President, signs it into law. This will be decided in the next ten days.

The vote passed with 68 in favour, 25 against and 15 abstentions.

FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, paid tribute to the dedication of many activists who over the past decade have campaigned to get the law changed.

Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS Head of Wild Animals in Entertainment and Textiles, said, “This is a momentous day in the history of animal welfare activists in Lithuania. As we have seen with the Fur Free European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), where a country with a population of well under 3 million had over fifty-three thousand people sign it, this is a country who wants stronger legislation to protect animals. Its passion is there for all to see. The argument against not banning it was that it was anti-trade, but UN trade figures show there has been a decade of decline for the fur industry."

“We are now looking forward to the European Commission's unveiling of the key revisions of the animal welfare legislation before the end of this mandate, which we hope will legislate and end this cruel practice across the EU.”

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

In June of this year the final count of validated signatures for the Fur Free Europe European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which aims to achieve an EU-wide ban on keeping and killing of animals for the sole purpose of fur production, was confirmed at an impressive 1,502,319 submitted to the European Commission.


The ECI Fur Free Europe was officially registered by the European Commission on 16/03/2022 and ran from 18/05/2022 until 01/03/2023. The ECI was submitted by a group of citizens from seven EU Member States. It aims to achieve an EU-wide ban on the 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.

In June 2023, 1,502,319 signatures were officially submitted to the European Commission. This marks the 10th successful ECI since the tool was launched in 2012. Seven out of ten successful ECIs have been dedicated to animal issues and Fur Free Europe represents the most successful ECI for animal welfare, while being the third most successful overall.

The European Union is one of the main regions for fur production globally. Every year millions of animals (mainly mink, foxes and raccoon dogs) are legally confined in small wire mesh cages and killed to produce unnecessary, easily replaceable fur articles. The mission is to end this cruel practice by introducing an EU-wide prohibition of fur farming.

More about #FurFreeEurope

Animal welfare – revision of EU legislation:

Currently, the European Commission is putting most of the laws and regulations concerning animal welfare through a thorough fitness check. They will evaluate whether the legal framework is still adequately protecting the animals in the European Union. As part of this longer process, the European Commission has launched a Public Consultation to give all European residents the chance to share their opinions and priorities.

Fur facts:

  • More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide—that is equivalent to three animals dying every second, just for their fur.
  • Fur farming has been banned in 19 European countries (14 of which are EU member states), including the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland, Estonia, France, Italy and most recently, on 22nd September 2022, Latvia. Political discussions on a ban are also underway in Romania, Lithuania, Spain and Poland. A further two countries (Switzerland and Germany) have implemented such strict regulations that fur farming has effectively ended, and three other countries (Denmark, Sweden and Hungary) have imposed measures that have ended the farming of certain species.
  • An increasing number of fashion designers and retailers are dropping fur cruelty. In the last few years alone, Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Chanel, Prada and other high-profile brands have announced fur-free policies.
  • The United Nations Comtrade statistics show that between 2011 and 2021, the value of imports fell from around 318.8 million euros to 107.8 million euros. The production of fur in the EU has also decreased sharply from 38 million animal skins in 2018 to around eleven million in 2021.
Mink at a fur farm

Prevent the pandemics of tomorrow, together

Learn more

FOUR PAWS on Social Media

Stay up to date on this topic and on all FOUR PAWS activities on our social media channels:

or subscribe to FOUR PAWS International newsletter.


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

Share now!