Dutch fur farmers consider the European Human Rights Court

December 20, 2016 - The Dutch Supreme Court has upheld the ban on mink farming in The Netherlands. Dutch fur farmers are considering their options including taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled in the cassation proceedings brought before them by Dutch fur farmers. The Supreme Court stated that the previous ruling by The Hague Court of Appeal has been correctly handled, and the ban on mink farming in The Netherlands from year 2024 stands.

“This case is not over yet. The Dutch fur farmers are considering their options including taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights. The principal disagreement throughout the Dutch court system calls for the European Human Rights court to establish if you really can ban an entire industry without proper compensation for your losses, for example buildings and equipment which will have no value after the phase out period,” says Mette Lykke Nielsen, CEO of Fur Europe.

While other Dutch court instances have pointed out that a 10-year phase out period violates the European Convention on Human Rights’ article 1 on property rights, the Supreme Court stated that a phase out period works as sufficient economic compensation and protection by article 1 does not include future income.

The ban on mink farming in The Netherlands is grounded in fur being deemed an unnecessary luxury product, and the amendments of the law stresses that a ban on fur farming cannot be based on poor animal welfare.

“We remain convinced that what matters to most European citizens is good animal welfare, and we take notice that the Dutch legislators acknowledge the animal welfare standards in the fur production. This is in line with existing scientific research on fur farmed species. On the other hand we regret the idea of legislation based on coincidental notions about morality. Clearly such elastic measures open the door to ban all kind of animal use sectors,” Mette Lykke Nielsen says.

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