10 November The Dutch Court of Appeal in The Hague reintroduced a ban on mink farming that had otherwise been lifted by the High Court in May 2014. on grounds of violation of the European Convention on Human Rights’ Article 1 on Property Rights. The verdict means that mink farming is banned in The Netherlands from 2024.
The Dutch fur farmers have not given up, and are willing to take the case all the way to European Court of Human Rights if necessary. First step however, is the appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court, and the Dutch Fur Breeders’ Association is expected to take this measure shortly.
The political discussion over fur farming has been taking place for more than 20 years in The Netherlands. A ban on mink farming could not be justified on grounds of poor animal welfare, why the legislation instead is based on morality, and the philosophical idea that fur is an unnecessary luxury product to which alternatives exist. The appeal court did not assess whether it is justified to deem fur unethical as opposed to for example meat consumption, another animal product to which alternatives exist.
It is the first time Dutch courts are dealing with an issue of the banning of an entire industry with offering compensation.