Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovakia has become the latest European country to implement a ban on fur farming.
The Slovak Parliament, by a wide majority of 107 out of 150, approved last week a legislation to ban fur farming, to go into effect in 2021. The law was proposed by MP Eva Antošová from the Slovak National Party (SNS) in September.
Slovakia is reportedly currently home to one mink and eight rabbit fur farms. According to the legislation passed by lawmakers, these existing installations should be progressively phased out by 2025.
The new legislation is the result of a nation-wide campaign launched in March by local animal rights group Humánny Pokrok, that managed to gather over 75,000 signatures for a petition calling for a total ban following the release of disturbing footage, indicating widespread mistreatment, obtained from a mink fur farm located in northern Slovakia.
The footage in question is available here.
Reacting to the news, Humánny Pokrok head Martin Smrek said that “it is a big victory for animals” and “a sign that Slovakia society is progressing and that tens of thousand of people are ready to stand up for the animals and their protection”.
Humánny Pokrok activist Frederika Fratričová added that the new ban “gives us hope that we will be able to deal with other animal cruelty as well”.
Open Cages, a U.K.-based animal rights NGO, also welcomed the news from the Central European country: “This is a tremendous victory that will have an impact for animals across Europe. Fur farming is a cruel, outdated practice”, said its CEO Connor Jackson.
According to the Fur Free Alliance, Slovakia is the 15th European country to implement either a complete ban or progressive phase-out of fur farms, following the likes of the U.K., Austria, the Netherlands, Norway and neighbouring Czech Republic, where the ban became effective this year.
To come into effect, the law still had to be signed by President Zuzana Caputova, who expressed her support for the initiative earlier this year.